February 9, 2021 at 9:42 pm PST | by Chris Johnson
White House defends trans kids in sports: ‘Trans rights are human rights’
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki briefs reporters
(Photo Credit: Screenshot via C-SPAN)

WASHINGTON – White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki held firm Tuesday during the daily press briefing on President Biden’s commitment to transgender rights, asserting under questioning regarding trans kids in school sports: “Trans rights are human rights.”

The reporter with Fox Radio asked Psaki about the executive order Biden signed on his first day in office ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which determined anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form sex discrimination.

The executive order, the Fox Radio reporter said, could lead to situations where “trans girls and cis girls…may end up competing against each other” and “lawsuits and some concerns among parents.”

Psaki, responding to the reporter’s question on whether the administration had guidance to schools, affirmed she’s “familiar with the order.”

When the Fox Radio reporter clarified the inquiry was seeking “a message for local schools officials” on disputes that includes situations where students are competing for college scholarships, Psaki held firm.

“I would just say that the president’s belief is that trans rights and human rights, and that’s why he signed that executive order,” Psaki said. “In terms of the determinations by universities and colleges, I would certainly defer to them.”

The executive order signed explicitly states kids in should be able to go to school without being “denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.” The Department of Education has yet to issue guidance on this order as it pertains to school sports.


Q    Okay.  Secondly, on President Biden’s transgender rights executive action, specifically when it applies to high school sports, what message would the White House have for trans girls and cis girls, who may end up competing against each other, in sparking some lawsuits and some concern among parents?  So does the administration have guidance for schools on dealing with disputes arising over trans girls competing against and with cis girls?
MS. PSAKI:  I’m not sure what your question is.
Q    The President’s executive order has —
MS. PSAKI:  I’m familiar with the order, but what was your question about it?
Q    My question is, do the President have a message for local school officials on dealing with these kind of disputes that are already starting to arise between, you know, trans girls who are competing and cis girls, and a level playing field?  Because particularly in high school sports, when it leads to college scholarships, is there any kind of messaging or clarification that the White House wants to give on the executive order?
MS. PSAKI:  I would just say that the President’s belief is that trans rights are human rights, and that’s why he signed that executive order. 
And in terms of the determinations by universities and colleges, I’d certainly defer to them. 

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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