An online petition started by Family Research Council against the Obama administration's "overreach in bullying parents and local school districts" to allow students to use restrooms and other facilities as per their gender identity and not their biological sex has gained more than 82,000 signatures.
"The Obama administration's overreach in bullying parents and local school districts by threatening loss of federal dollars if they do not follow its guidance in allowing students to use facilities such as restrooms, showers, and locker rooms of the opposite biological sex is both unlawful and dangerous to our children," says the FRC petition to be sent to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.
It had been signed by more than 82,800 people as of early Friday, a week after the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education released a "guidance" saying that all federally funded schools must allow students to use restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities and activities according to their self-proclaimed gender identity.
"This has gone too far," the petition adds. "The U.S. Congress is still the voice of the American people. It's past time that Congress stands up to the unlawful actions of this president. If Congress will not resist President Obama's overreach into the bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms of our nation's schools, then who will?"
It urges the House Speaker "to take action to protect our children and stop the Obama administration's radical overreach."
The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against North Carolina earlier this month saying the state's House Bill 2 violates Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights Law of 1964.
House Bill 2 states that people must use bathrooms according to their biological sex. The law also protects the rights of businesses and other places of public accommodation to create their own bathroom policies, rather than be forced to allow men into women's restrooms.
Title IX says that "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion.
In 2014, the Obama administration used its own interpretation to include transgender discrimination in illegal sex discrimination. Opponents called the interpretation a federal overreach.
"The President of the United States has used the full force of the Department of Justice, the Department of Education to say to local schools: You will accept our view of the transgender/transsexual question," National Religious Broadcasters President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson said as he guest-hosted FRC President Tony Perkins' Washington Watch radio program the same day the Obama administration sent out its directive to schools.
"The President does not have the authority to do this," Perkins said. "What he has done is unilaterally reinterpreted the 1972 Title IX educational amendment to say sex … includes self-described gender identity. And what's so bad about this, as you pointed out, it's not just bathrooms; it's locker rooms, it's showers. And it's not just elementary and secondary schools; it's colleges… What this is doing is ushering sexual chaos into our schools."