Senator Portman Says Obama Administration Overstepped with Bathroom Guidelines

[Photo: Cory Doctorow/ Flickr]
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by Michelle Faust

The federal departments of Justice and Education released a memo last week recommending schools allow students to use bathroom facilities that match their gender identity. Ohio’s Republican Senator disagrees with the Obama administration’s approach.

While Ohio schools consider how they’ll respond to the federal guidelines, the junior U.S. Senator for Ohio, Rob Portman says the issue should not be taken up by the executive branch of government.

“They ought to be at least consulting with people in these local communities and schools and getting input. And again, this is probably one that’s more appropriate to go through the legislative branch,” says Portman.

Portman disagrees with a North Carolina law that requires everyone use the bathroom that matches their sex at birth. 

“I don’t think it achieved the right balance between protecting the rights of individuals on the one hand and religious liberty on the other hand. I think it tilted the balance and that’s why I think it’s wrong,” he says.

Several school districts in Ohio already have policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual identity. The state education department is reviewing the federal guidelines.

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