Jackie Evancho, Katy Perry, Sia, Other Celebs Speak Out Against Trump's Removal of Bathroom Protection for Trans Students
Katy Perry, Sia, Josh Groban, inauguration performer Jackie Evancho, Lance Bass and other celebs took to Twitter on Wednesday (Feb. 22) to speak out against Pres. Trump's action to roll back bathroom protections for transgender students. The controversial move revoked the landmark guidance issued to public schools by the Obama administration that allowed transgender students to use bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
Katy Perry, who made a loud political statement at her Brit Awards performance on Wednesday in England with giant puppets resembling Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May, weighed in on Trump's actions with a tweet supporting the trans community.
America's Got Talent singer Evancho, one of the only mainstream pop artists who performed at Trump's inauguration, made a pointed rebuke to the president's action, standing up on behalf of her 18-year-old trans sister, Juliet, who is currently embroiled in a lawsuit against her school district over the right to use the women's room at school.
According to a Reuters report, around 200 people gathered in front of the White House on Wednesday to protest the action, waving rainbow flags and chanting, "No hate, no fear, trans students welcome here." White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said Trump acted now because of the pending U.S. Supreme Court Case G.G. versus Gloucester County School Board, which will have Virginia transgender teen Gavin Grimm facing off against his local school board over their attempts to deny him the use of the boys' room at his high school.
I don't know what to say other than I'm proud to stand alongside the LGBTQ community. --️--— Mark Hoppus (@markhoppus) February 23, 2017
You might recall that Laverne Cox shouted Grimm out during the 2017 Grammy Awards earlier this month, urging people to #StandWithGavin, a hashtag a number of celebs picked up in their criticism of Trump's action. According to The New York Times, in rejecting the Obama administration's stand that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice, Trump argued that the directive was arbitrarily devised "without due regard for the primary role of the states and local schools districts in establishing educational policy."
More illuminating, though, is the fact that the Times said the debate inside the White House over the issue created a rift between recently confirmed Education Sec. Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with the latter eager to move quickly to roll back the Obama-era civil rights expansion due to pending court cases -- including Grimm's -- that may uphold those protections and result in further litigation.
The Times -- which last month ran a story that revealed DeVos' history of supporting gay rights in opposition to her family's longtime backing of anti-LGBT organizations -- reported that Republicans with knowledge of the debate said DeVos initially resisted signing off on the new directive out of fear that it could potentially harm transgender students. Sessions, who has openly opposed expanding LGBT rights, then reportedly pressured DeVos to change her mind.
In an Oval Office meeting on Tuesday Trump reportedly told DeVos to drop her opposition, and faced with the alternative of resigning just weeks into her tenure, she changed course. She did, however, issue her own statement in support of protecting LGBT students. “We have a responsibility to protect every student in America and ensure that they have the freedom to learn and thrive in a safe and trusted environment," she said. "This is not merely a federal mandate, but a moral obligation no individual, school, district or state can abdicate.”
Some other celebs who were speaking out on the issue:
Trans community you are not alone. We stand with you and support you and there is help. https://t.co/SQRZPRkRFW— josh groban (@joshgroban) February 23, 2017
To the LGBTQ community, I'm sorry for the message that was sent today. They don't speak for all of us. We love you.— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) February 23, 2017
For anyone who feels scared or hopeless, know that we will never stop fighting for your rights.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) February 23, 2017
It's going 2 take me a moment 2 digest the wholesale lack of compassion showed today to #transkids by this administration. Trying to process— Adam Shankman (@adammshankman) February 23, 2017
We need to protect trans youth and stand up against this cruelty that hurts our kids. Support @Translifeline— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) February 22, 2017
Unreal + disgusting that protecting Transgender kids in schools is an issue the T***p admin. is actively against. https://t.co/k5GgG3GKVN— Abbi Jacobson (@abbijacobson) February 23, 2017