President Barack Obama on Wednesday
defended his administration's guidelines to schools advising them to
allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.
The president made his remarks during a
town hall in Elkhart, Indiana moderated by PBS News Hour
anchor Gwen Ifill.
Twelve states have joined in a lawsuit
challenging the administration's directive. Kansas has said it will
also sue the federal government but is uncertain as to whether it
will file a separate suit.
to challenge Obama's transgender bathroom policy.)
Obama told the questioner that he
believes transgender students are being treated unfairly.
“What happened and what continues to
happen is you have transgender kids in schools. And they get
bullied. And they get ostracized. And it's tough for them,” Obama
Obama said that school districts had
asked the administration for guidance on the issue.
“And my answer is that we should deal
with this issue the same way we'd want it dealt with if it was our
child. And that is to try to create an environment of some dignity
and kindness for these kids. And that's sort of the bottom line.”
“Now, I understand that people, you
know, for religious beliefs or just general discomfort might
disagree. And I'm not the one who's making a big issue of it. But if
the school districts around the country ask me, 'What do you think we
should do?' Then what we're going to do is tell them let's find a
way that makes sure that these kids are not, you know, excluded and
Obama added that he believes the issue
will be settled by the courts.