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GOP politician with transgender son blasts Trump’s school bathroom ruling

‘Evidence has shown that acceptance of transgender students lowers their risk of suicide’

GOP politician with transgender son blasts Trump’s school bathroom ruling
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Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

President Trump’s decision to roll back US public school guidance offered by predecessor Barack Obama has been met with much storm criticism.

Organizations such as HRC, ACLU, Lambda Legal and teaching unions have all criticized the decision to remove protections for transgender student when using restrooms in fitting with their gender identity. Numerous celebrities have also criticized the move.

Trump’s also received criticism from some in the Republican Party.

For Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen it’s a matter close to her heart. She has a transgender son, Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen. He works as an advocate for transgender rights.

‘Lamentable decision’

Yesterday she called Trump’s decision to scrap Obama’s guidance ‘lamentable’.

In a statement, she said, ‘This lamentable decision can lead to hostile treatment of transgender students and studies have shown that bullying and harassment can be detrimental to the emotional and physical well-being of teenagers.

‘Evidence has shown that acceptance of transgender students lowers their risk of suicide.’

In 2015, Ros-Lehtinen, along with Rep. Jared Polis (D – CO), introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) prohibiting schools from discriminating against students based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

Referencing this, she went on to say, ‘Jared and I introduced our SNDA bill to prevent discrimination of transgender young people and we will re-introduce it because our country benefits when everyone is accepted and we live up to our nation’s promise of inclusiveness.’

Ros-Lehtinen wasn’t the only Miami Republican to criticize Trump’s order. Rep. Carlos Curbelo said yesterday in a Facebook posting, ‘This is a disappointing choice for the Administration to make.

‘We should be working toward ensuring all American children feel safe and accepted in their schools, regardless of where they live, their race, creed, gender identity or sexual orientation.’

Last year, Ros-Lehtinen made a Public Service Announcement with her husband, former U.S. Attorney, Dexter Lehtinen, with their son, in which they talked about supporting him through his transition process.

‘Every transgender person is part of someone’s family and should be treated with compassion and protected from discrimination,’ she said in the PSA.

GSN has reached out to Ros-Lehtinen for further comment.


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