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Congressman Ralph Abraham

Representing the 5th District of Louisiana

Abraham introduces legislation to combat executive overreach on transgender bathroom issue

May 24, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D., R-Alto, introduced legislation on Monday, May 23, that seeks to halt the Obama administration’s executive overreach regarding the transgender bathroom directive handed down to public schools.

Earlier this month, President Obama issued a directive stating that any public school that failed to allow students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that corresponded to their “gender identity” would be found in violation of Title IX. He warned that such a violation could result in the loss of federal funds.

However, Title IX has been widely interpreted to refer to biological sex since it became enacted in 1972. It was originally passed to rectify inequality among the sexes, particularly in regards to athletic opportunities and after school programs.

The bill Dr. Abraham introduced Monday, HR 5307, amends Title IX by simply clarifying that “the term ‘sex’ means with respect to an individual the biological sex of such individual.”

“For 40 years, society and law have interpreted Title IX to refer to a person’s biological sex. Now the President and liberal activists are distorting that meaning to circumvent Congress to enact their radical social agenda. My bill removes any ambiguity in the law to ensure that Title IX's true intent is respected. Transgender bathroom policy decisions should be made on the local and state levels, not by an over-reaching Executive Branch that twists the law to suit its own purposes,” Dr. Abraham said.

The definition of “sex” found in Dr. Abraham’s bill follows the same guidelines used by other arms of the federal government, such as the Census Bureau, which uses biological sex to carry out its constitutional duty to count and catalogue American citizens. The definition is also consistent with the widely accepted medical definitions used by the American Psychological Association.

“The American people are sick and tired of their voices in Congress being ignored by a president who tries to rule like a dictator. Laws are made in Congress, not the White House. The President has no authority to ignore Congress and impose sweeping societal changes that fly in the face of the law, and he certainly has no authority to withhold congressionally appropriated funds to schools that fail to comply with his agenda. Congress should swiftly pass my bill to show the people that their Congress will not stand for an Executive Branch that ignores our Constitution,” Dr. Abraham said.