A rally is planned for this weekend in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood to protest the move by the Trump administration to roll back federal protections for transgender students in public schools.
More than 300 people indicated on Facebook Thursday that they planned to attend the "Stand Up for Transgender Rights" event at noon Saturday at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe streets to show their support for trans equality.
"I'm passionate about this cause," said rally organizer Kevin Morrison, 27, who is gay and has friends who identify as transgender.
On Wednesday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the administration was rescinding a federal directive put in place by President Obama that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom and locker room that matched their gender identities. The new administration's move was condemned by LGBTQ and civil rights advocates but lauded by those who viewed Obama's policy as federal overreach.Local educators say transgender policies won't change after Trump rollback Duaa Eldeib
The Trump administration announced late Wednesday it has rescinded a key Obama directive granting transgender students federal protections in public schools, though the impact in Illinois may not be as pronounced as elsewhere and many local educators said they will not roll back existing policies....
The Trump administration announced late Wednesday it has rescinded a key Obama directive granting transgender students federal protections in public schools, though the impact in Illinois may not be as pronounced as elsewhere and many local educators said they will not roll back existing policies.... (Duaa Eldeib) Matadorbet
Repealing the transgender bathroom guidance, and subsequently getting rid of a safe space for trans youth at public schools, is "incredibly wrong," Morrison said. "What it will end up furthering is discrimination against an already disenfranchised community. We need to show the current administration this is not how we move this country forward.".
Morrison, who lives in Elk Grove Village, said he is in contact with Ald. Tom Tunney's office and has talked to the 7-Eleven owner about use of the parking lot at the interesection where the rally is planned. A vigil was held at that intersection last June for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. He said he has reached out to LGBT organizations around the city including the Center on Halsted as well as other minority groups to line up speakers for the event in order to create a more inclusive platform.
After a stint working on the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in Ohio, Morrison said he has attended Donald Trump protests in Chicago including the "Not My President's Day" protest Monday near Trump Tower and the protest at O'Hare Airport last month in the wake of Trump's crackdown on immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries.
"We need to fight for all Americans, and we definitely aren't seeing that in this administration," Morrison said. "Any community that is going to be affected by this administration is going to be someone I'm going to stand up for."Trump administration lifts federal transgender bathroom guidelines Maria Danilova and Sadie Gurman
The administration came down on the side of states' rights, lifting...
Transgender students on Wednesday lost federal protections that allowed them to use school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities, as the Trump administration stepped into a long-simmering national debate.
The administration came down on the side of states' rights, lifting...(Maria Danilova and Sadie Gurman)
Mayor Emanuel on Wednesday assured that Chicago Public Schools' existing policies supporting transgender individuals by providing students access to bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity would not change despite the rollback of federal protections.
"Chicago will stay steadfast in our commitment to fight for equality and against discrimination in all its forms," Emanuel said in a statement.
Equality Illinois, a statewide advocacy group, said it was outraged by the decision made by the Trump administration.
"The new federal policy sends the harmful and mean-spirited message to transgender students that they are not respected and valued in their schools, the very spaces where they should be safe and affirmed," said CEO Brian Johnson. "School should be a place for learning and growing, not fear and being ostracized."
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