In the Fight For Transgender Rights, DeVos is Unlikely but Ineffective Ally

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The good ship Democracy continues to leak and the water is salty.

Secretary of education Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have reportedly been fighting over the Obama-era protections of transgender students in American public schools. When DeVos would not sign an order to rescind the protections, Sessions confronted her and insisted she change her mind.

A draft of the order, obtained by The New York Times, would allow schools to dictate which bathroom students could use, reversing President Obama’s policy. However, without the Department of Education’s support, Sessions could not press forward with the order.

In an Oval Office meeting, Donald Trump insisted that DeVos drop her objections. This presented her with the option of resigning, defying the president, or caving on her convictions and going along with the discriminatory order.

She chose the third option.

Despite her family’s enormous financial support for anti-gay causes, the heiress has quietly voiced support for the LGBT community, according to those close to her. Many critics of her confirmation, including FourTwoNine Magazine, noted her financial contributions to anti-LGBT organizations and predicted a backlash to the rights of sexual and gender minorities.

Still, the draft contains some concessions to DeVos and the LGBT community. It states that schools must protect transgender students from bullying. “Schools must ensure that transgender students, like all students, are able to learn in a safe environment,” the letter reads. Apparently, the rich woman from Michigan voiced her concern about the high rates of suicide among transgender youth.

This resounding language will surely give strength to trans kids around the country as they hold it in for the next four years.

About The Author

Samuel Braslow is an associate editor at FourTwoNine Magazine, and covers current events and politics for the website.

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