“State’s Rights” is a cop out for conservative republicans

Madeline Kuhl

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On February 22nd 2017, President Trump’s administration revoked the guidelines that were set in place to protect transgender students from discrimination at their schools. On February 16th, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of H.J. Resolution 69. This Resolution overruled a federal law, which protected wildlife (such as wolves, bears and foxes) from shocking killing methods. What’s something that both recent events have in common? The defenders of these changes thought that it should be left up to each state to decide their stance.

Why should something like protecting children from discrimination or harm be something the sates get to decide? It seems as if we are just moving backward in everything. What’s next? Will Trump’s administration interpret somehow from title IX that discrimination based on gender, race, or religion will also be up to the states? I do agree that some federal regulations/mandates seem to be over the top. However, in cases such as these, some topics need to be decided at a national level.

Children and teens who are transgender have every right in any school to feel safe and as if they belong. Students should be allowed to use the bathroom that correlates with the gender they identify as, and in some cases, gender neutral bathrooms should be present to accommodate student’s who don’t feel safe in the public bathroom.

Most of the time, the classmate’s do not even care about what bathroom transgender students use. In Gavin Grimm’s case, his classmates were fine with him being in the bathroom with them, and it was their parents who had the issue with it and brought it to the school. Even if a student’s classmates weren’t okay with it, the individual should still be able to use the bathroom they feel comfortable in. I really think that we have looked too far into this issue, people use restrooms to… use the restroom. I do not see why is it reasonable to take that away from them.

Some use the (rather insulting) claim that people who are trans will use the restroom as an advantage to assault someone. However, trans people are much more likely to be assaulted than assault someone else.

DeVos’ job is to protect the students, not place them in harmful situations. She must not realize what kind of mental turmoil this could cause for a kid that is being forced to use the bathroom with a gender that they do not identify as.

Defending the Trump Administrations decision, Sean Spicer said that “It’s a state’s rights issue”.  Leaving decisions like this up to the states is a terrible decision. Of course, liberal states will most likely decide to keep the guidelines, but what about kids who reside in conservative stats that will now be forced to use the wrong bathroom? We’ve seen this excuse used before, with same-sex marriage, and just recently, in the decision to allow hunters to shoot hibernating or infant animals.

Once H.J. Resolution 69 was passed, many inhumane acts became legal in the state of Alaska. This means shooting wolf pups still in the den, shooting bears that are in hibernation, and using steel leghold traps (think Fox and the Hound sort of traps). Not only did they house of reps decide that this was reasonable, they also voted that it should be allowed to do these heinous actions on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. To me, there is no justification for this. I really don’t believe in killing or harming animals for any reason, but even someone who hunts should be able to see the faults in this. There is no reason someone should want to kill wolf pups that are still so young, or kill bears who are in hibernation and have no way to defend themselves, let alone if they are on a wildlife refuges.

Republican Law Makers came forward with this for the NRA, the Safari Club, and some hunting guides and outfitters. Republicans are so concerned with their ‘gun rights’ that they must think they should be able to kill any animal with them. Of course, not all republican representatives are to blame. Ten Republicans voted against majority vote, and five democrats who voted with it.

It seems as if republicans and conservatives love to use “state’s rights” when it allows them to get their way in conservative, republican states. However, it seems as if they are suddenly against states’ rights when it comes to topics such as marijuana being legalized.

This hypocrisy has got to end. State’s rights are fine when it deals with things such as marijuana, and other minimal issues. However, topics such as transgender students’ bathroom rights and the inhumane killing of animals ought to be a federal issue.

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“State’s Rights” is a cop out for conservative republicans