Donald Trump, the presumptive
Republican presidential nominee, said Friday that states should
decide whether transgender students can use the bathroom of their
“I think this should be a states'
issue,” Trump said during an appearance on Fox News' Fox &
Friends. “It's become a huge story and yet it affects – and
everybody has to be protected, if it's one person – but it's a
tiny, tiny portion of the population, and it's become a massive
story. I think this should a states' issue.”
Trump was referring to guidelines
issued by the Obama administration that advise public schools,
colleges and universities to allow transgender students to use the
bathroom that they identify with.
“It's a new issue,” Trump said.
“Right now, I just don't have an opinion.”
Trump, however, did have an opinion
last month, saying that transgender people should be able to “use
the bathroom that they feel is appropriate” and inviting Caitlyn
Jenner to use the bathroom of her choice in his properties. Jenner
took him up on his offer.
JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president
of policy and political affairs at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC),
called Trump's position “reckless.”
“Donald Trump’s dangerous bluster
would allow governors to bully transgender students and should be
deeply alarming to the majority of Americans who support LGBT
equality. Here's the reality, Mr. Trump. Teachers and schools are
asking for the federal government's help because politicians like you
and [North Carolina] Governor Pat McCrory are putting transgender
students at risk. Transgender youth face a heightened risk for
bullying, harassment and violence, which is exactly why it is
inexcusable that anyone running for president would try to take a
pass on protecting all students,” Winterhof said in a statement.