- The Washington Times - Friday, May 13, 2016

The White House defended the administration’s directive Friday that school districts must allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex, saying the move “benefits all students.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said opponents of transgender bathrooms in schools are complaining about “a problem that nobody can prove exists.”

“The guidance does not require any student to use shared facilities when schools make alternate arrangements,” Mr. Earnest said.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called the administration’s directive “blackmail,” and said Texas would not go along with the guidance even if it risks losing federal funding.

Mr. Earnest retorted, “This does underscore the risk of electing a right-wing radio host to a statewide elected office.”

He said the administration is offering “practical, tangible, real-world suggestions to school administrators who have to deal with this issue.”

“The challenge here is not isolate anybody,” Mr. Earnest said. “It’s actually to make sure our schools are as inclusive, and respectful, and safe as they can possibly be. That is something that benefits all students. The vast majority of schools and school administrators will welcome this guidance.”

Mr. Earnest rejected the suggestion that the White House was issuing the rule to curry favor with its LGBT allies in the Democratic Party’s base.

“This has very little to do with politics, except for our critics, who want to make it entirely about politics,” he said.

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