Photo credit: AP Photo/LM Otero
Texas Lt. Governor, and Republican because … of course, Dan Patrick is like a dog with a bone; or, in other less polite words, he’s like a transphobic dog with a boner.
Following the multi-state lawsuit Texas filed against the federal government last week, Patrick has stepped up his campaign against transgender students by making sure that no transgender students in Texas receive any accommodations at public schools until this lawsuit is settled, even though, up until Patrick weighed in with his bigotry and intolerance, trans students were doing just fine using the bathrooms that align with their gender identity.
At a press conference last week, Dan Patrick vowed to explicitly oppose the Obama administration’s guidelines that urge the nation’s schools to respect trans students’ identities:
“I will be sending a letter to every superintendent in the state of Texas letting them know that they should not move forward on the President’s guidelines.”
But his little Hate Letter isn’t enough for Dan Patrick — whom, from his stance in the photo above makes it appear he's auditioning for the chorus of an Anything Goes revival — is hoping to force Texas schools to defy those guidelines.
And he’s starting in Ft. Worth where, just this past April, In April, the Fort Worth Independent School District [ISD] introduced new guidelines to accommodate transgender students; these new guidelines simply reflect the fact that, way back in 2011, the Ft Worth ISD already included “gender identity” in its nondiscrimination policy.
And that has Dan Patrick’s anti-trans granny panties in a snit. He has set his sights on making an example of the Ft Worth ISD by, first, calling for the superintendent to resign and when that didn’t work, by ordering the state’s Attorney General, Ken Paxton, also an anti-trans Republican — who filed a lawsuit against the federal government for those transgender guidelines — to review whether Fort Worth ISD’s trans-inclusive policy violates state law.
But here’s where Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton seem to want to play it both ways; both men feel that the federal government’s request for transgender inclusivity is a violation of “local control,” and so they are asking to ignore the guidelines and also ignore local control by enforcing state control.
Pot.Kettle.Black. As it were. But Dan Patrick, and by association, Ken Paxton, believes that trans-inclusive policies are somehow already a violation of state law, but if they’re not, he’ll work to change that:
“We’re not going to go in here and involve ourselves in every issue in a school district, [but] if a superintendent breaks the law and the school board doesn’t act, the legislature will act.”
See what he did there? He’s saying that he will stay out of local school district’s business anywhere and everywhere except where trans student’s rights are involved, and then he’ll take action to remove district officials or demand that the legislature step in and control the schools.
And the saddest part of this whole Texas mess is that Dan Patrick says he doesn’t know any transgender people, and clearly doesn’t know what it means to be transgender, but he’s clearly loving the idea of treating them as less than.