Metro Weekly

Mike Pence: Trump will remove Obama’s trans bathroom protections

Pence said that he and Trump want to resolve "bathroom issue" at state level

Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Gov. Mike Pence has confirmed that Donald Trump would remove the Obama administration’s guidance on transgender students. Among other things, it urged school districts across the country not to discriminate against trans students.

Speaking on Dr James Dobson’s Family Talk radio show, Pence said that should he and Trump be elected, they would remove the administration’s guidance so that “the transgender bathroom issue can be resolved with common sense at the local level”.

“There’s no area of our lives too small for [the administration] to want to regulate, no aspect of our constitution too large for them to ignore,” he continued. “Donald Trump and I both believe these questions can be resolved with common sense at the local level.”

Pence then said that such issues were “resolved in the state of Indiana whenever they come up, and they should be resolved, for the safety and well-being of our children first and foremost, their privacy and rights, and with common sense.”

“Washington has no business intruding on the operation of our local schools. It’s just one more example of the heavy hand of this administration,” he said, adding: “Washington DC has no business imposing its bill and its values on communities around the nation.”

Of course, Pence is no stranger to imposing values on a community. Last year, he signed Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law. The widely criticized law was described as giving license to discriminate against LGBT people on the basis of religious beliefs.

“The bill was introduced as a backlash reaction to achieving marriage equality for same-sex couples in Indiana,” Jane Henegar, executive director of the ACLU in Indiana said at the time.

After pressure from businesses and outrage from activists, Indiana was forced to “fix” the law, clarifying that it could not be used to discriminate against LGBT people.

Sen. Tim Kaine was criticized this week for failing to raise Pence’s lack of support for the LGBT community at Tuesday’s vice presidential debate.

Military members refute Trump’s criticisms of transgender troops

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at

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