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Mississippi Gov. Plans to Join 11 Other States in Lawsuit Against Obama Administration

Mississippi Gov. Plans to Join 11 Other States in Lawsuit Against Obama Administration

phil bryant

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant plans to join 11 other states in a lawsuit over a guidance document on the treatment of transgender students. 

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant plans to join 11 states in a suit against the Obama administration for issuing a guidance document May 13 that suggests public schools allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity.

"In regards to the 11 state lawsuit against the Obama administration over its bathroom directive, our office has talked to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office and I intend, as soon as possible, to join the lawsuit against this latest example of federal overreach," the governor wrote on his Facebook page Thursday.

Clay Chandler, a spokesman for the governor, told The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., that the state's Democratic attorney general, Jim Hood, refused to join in the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by Texas and 10 other states. The govenor plans to use one of his own staff attorneys in the suit.

Two days after the Obama administration issued its guidance, Gov. Bryant responded on Facebook, saying the "Mississippi Department of Education should disregard the so-called guidance the Obama administration has issued regarding public schools' restroom policies."

The states joining Texas include Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Georgia. The Arizona Department of Education, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, and school districts in Texas and Arizona are also plaintiffs in the suit.

The guidance issued by the Department of Education and Department of Justice detailed guidelines explaining the obligations that schools receiving public funding have to their transgender students.

These obligations include respecting the gender identity of transgender students by using the student's preferred name and pronouns, and ensuring them access to sports teams, educational opportunities, and sex-segregated facilities that correspond with their gender identity, according to a letter sent May 13 to public K-12 schools nationwide as well as to colleges and universities that receive federal funding.

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