Nancy Pelosi took a firm stance when challenged on her position on trans youth’s access to gender-affirming schools, sports, and locker rooms. When a Christian reporter at a news conference questioned her on the issue, Pelosi had little time for the shenanigans.
Speaker of the House Pelosi was holding her weekly news conference on Friday, but one reporter wanted to shift the subject away from COVID relief legislation. “Joe Biden says he’ll give transgender students access to sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms in accordance to their gender identity in all federally funded schools. Does he have the power to unilaterally do this, and do you agree?” a reporter from the Christian News Service asked.
Pelosi had no time for the question and gave a short, firm answer, “Yes, and I think he does,” before moving on from the subject.
While the reporter posed the question as a “gotcha” moment, taking that stance is only a return to trans-affirming guidance set under Barack Obama during his last year as president. After Donald Trump became president, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded that guidance.
During his campaign, President-elect Biden promised to reinstate the Obama guidelines and make sure to protect trans kids’ rights. Even if he didn’t, the Supreme Court ruled this year that anti-transgender discrimination is a form of sex discrimination and thus illegal.
Experts agree that Pelosi is “absolutely right” in saying that Biden has the power to protect trans youth. “The Supreme Court was abundantly clear when it found sex discrimination laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, exactly as Title IX does,” Gillian Branstetter, a spokesperson for the National Women’s Law Center, told the Washington Blade.
Watch Pelosi's exchange below.