Texas officials have filed suit to block an order by the Biden administration requiring that employers use the preferred pronouns of transgender employees, as well as allow them to use the bathroom of their choice and to dress according to their chosen gender.
The state of Texas and the Biden administration have become frequent opponents in court, including recent battles over Texas’s abortion restrictions and the border crisis. Now the two are in squaring off on the Biden administration’s policies on transgenders.
On September 20, Texas filed suit against the administration to block an advisement that transgender employees be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice and dress as their gender identity while also mandating that employers use a person’s preferred pronoun.
On June 15, EEOC Chairman Charlotte Burrows has issued guidance on employers’ obligations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Texas claims that the advisement relies on a faulty interpretation of the Supreme Court decision Bostock v. Clayton County. In that decision the Supreme Court did rule that employees could not be fired from their jobs solely on the basis of their transgender status, but Justice Neil Gorsuch clearly stated, “Under Title VII, too, we do not purport to address bathrooms, locker rooms or anything else of the kind.” He also said that the Court was not ruling on “sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms and dress codes.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “States should be able to choose protection of privacy for their employers over subjective views of gender, and this illegal guidance puts many women and children at risk.”
He added, “If the Biden Administration thinks they can force states to comply with their political agenda, my office will fight against their radical attempt at social change. These backdoor attempts to force businesses, including the State of Texas, to align with their beliefs is unacceptable.”
The suit claims that “the June 15 Guidance was not approved by a vote of the full Commission and was never published in the Federal Register.” It adds that the guidance violates the Administrative Procedures Act, the First Amendment, and the 11th Amendment.
The EEOC directive is in direct conflict with some existing policies within the state. For example, at the Texas Department of Agriculture an employee “dressed as a member of the opposite sex” would be in violation of the agency’s dress code.
Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said,
“It is my belief that this unlawful – and unconstitutional – guidance brings increased liability to every employer, including the state of Texas. In our constitutional republic, states have the sovereign right to enact their own laws and regulations related to matters such as bathroom facilities; and this is an extreme and ridiculous overreach by the Biden administration.”
The reason that Texas and the Biden administration keep getting into disputes is that Texas is a conservative state standing for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, while the Biden administration has continuously acted as a rogue administrative state bent on enforcing left-wing ideology even when it is clearly outside the bounds of the Constitution.
States have rights and employers do as well. Employers should not be forced to adhere to progressive views on gender identity, including allowing transgender employees to use the bathroom corresponding to their chosen gender identity rather than their biological sex. This forces other employees to use the restroom with people of the opposite sex, which is not only inappropriate but causes anxiety for them. Transgenders have a right to be protected and treated with dignity, but they are not afforded extra rights that place them above all other people.