Scott pressured to bring Florida into lawsuit challenging transgender bathrooms

John Stemberger
John Stemberger

Florida Gov. Rick Scott was pushed Thursday to join a lawsuit filed by 11 other states over the Obama administration’s ordering school districts to permit transgender students to use their bathroom of choice.

Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger said Scott should show leadership and “protect our children” by adding Florida to the states challenging the interpretation that education’s Title IX law includes gender identity.

Attorney General Pam Bondi last week turned down a request from state Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, to issue an opinion on the constitutionality of the White House’s action.

Bondi wrote, “we do not issue legal opinions on federal law.” The move seemed to signal a reluctance on the part of Florida to weigh into the simmering issue.

While earlier staying quiet on the issue, Scott now is becoming more fiery.

He told reporters Wednesday at a jobs and education summit in Orlando that he was angered by the administration’s threat to withhold federal dollars from states that refused to comply with the so-called guidance letter.

“To me, it looks like just blackmail,” Scott said. “The federal government takes our tax dollars — because, remember, all their tax dollars are money that comes from our citizens all around this country — and then they give that back to us, and then they change the deal. And they say, ‘Oh, now we’re going to hold this money back from you.'”


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