- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A new survey indicates two-thirds of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s order compelling public schools nationwide to permit access to restrooms and other intimate facilities on the basis of gender identity.

Sixty-six percent of respondents said they oppose governmental efforts to force businesses and schools to allow restroom, locker room and shower access to people of the opposite sex, including 52 percent who strongly oppose such measures, according to the survey conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, which was founded by conservative pollster Chris Wilson. Just 28 percent of respondents said they support the government’s intervention.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said the poll is a sign that people are standing up to “Barack Obama’s effort to fundamentally transform America.”

“President Obama has ignored the repeatedly expressed concerns of parents and school officials over the privacy and safety of students,” Mr. Perkins said in a statement. “In the pursuit of his radical agenda, the President has trampled upon the boundaries of his constitutional power.”

Democrats were evenly split on the issue, with 46 percent responding they disapprove and 45 percent saying they approve of the government’s involvement. Republicans overwhelmingly oppose such measures, while self-identified independents are against the idea by a 64 to 29 percent margin.

Although older people were more likely to oppose such measures, the poll found millennials still disapprove of them by a 55 to 37 percent margin.

The president issued an order in May that compels schools to open restrooms and locker rooms to transgender students of the opposite sex. Schools that refuse to comply with the order risk losing federal education funding.

Mr. Obama’s administration has repeatedly reinterpreted Title IX to prohibit schools from discriminating on the basis of “gender identity,” even though the phrase appears nowhere in the legislation.

A Title IX implementation rule passed by Congress at the time allows regulated entities to “provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex, but such facilities provided for students of one sex shall be comparable to such facilities provide for students of the other sex.”

Twenty-three states are suing the federal government over the order, arguing it misinterprets the legislative intent of Title IX and unconstitutionally tramples on state sovereignty.

The survey polled 1,012 adults nationwide by telephone on July 12. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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