People are ripping the Trump administration for reversing some transgender protections

The response to the Trump administration’s reversal of some Obama-era transgender rights prompted swift and sharp rebukes from LGBT rights groups and advocates on Wednesday night.

A directive given by former President Barack Obama last year granted transgender students the choice to use public school restrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity. Without the directive, states and school districts will now have to decide whether to grant those protections to transgender students.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions laid out his reasoning for the reversal, accusing the Obama administration of not being clear about its intentions: “The prior guidance documents did not contain sufficient legal analysis or explain how the interpretation was consistent with the language of Title IX.”

Title IX bans sex discrimination in education. But it remains unsettled whether Title IX protections extend to a person’s gender identity.

LGBT rights advocates argue that protections are necessary to shield trans students from discrimination. The Human Rights Campaign found 51% of LGBTQ youth had been verbally harassed at their school.

Here’s how people responded to the Trump administration’s actions:

Sen. Kamala Harris of California:

“Revoking federal protections for transgender students is an appalling decision that targets kids because of who they are. Shameful.”

LGBT Caucus:

“SHAME! Donald Trump has decided the biggest problem facing America was that transgender kids have civil rights?”

Rep. Marc Pocan of Wisconsin:

“Donald Trump abandons transgender students w/hateful action. We will fight for equality and protect trans kids.”

Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota:

“I vow to fight back against Trump admin’s callous decision to scrap guidelines that protect transgender students.”

Rep. Barbara Lee of California:

“Title IX protects transgender students from abuse and discrimination. Trump Admin’s action tonight is blatantly wrong.”

Ellen DeGeneres:

“Just seeing the news about removing laws protecting trans people. This isn’t about politics. It’s about human rights, and it’s not ok.”

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson:

“As AG, I will ensure state laws protecting transgender and gender non-conforming students are enforced fairly and vigorously.”

Rep. Adam Schiff of California:

“Trans rights are human rights. With all the progress we’ve made, suicides among LGBT youth have declined. This is no time to reverse course.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer:

“This decision by the Trump administration to roll back protections for transgender students is just plain wrong and cuts directly across the American drive and yearning for equality.”

Transgender bathroom bill hb2Getty Images/Sara D. DavisA gender neutral sign is posted outside a bathrooms at Oval Park Grill on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina.

Laws centered on transgender rights have sparked controversy in states nationwide. North Carolina took a financial hit of nearly $US400 million after businesses and organisations took a stand against its law that prevented local governments from protecting LGBT people with nondiscrimination ordinances.

Twelve other states have pre-filed or filed similar bills as of February 2017, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Those states include: Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

Legislation in South Dakota and Virginia failed, the NCSL noted.

NOW WATCH: TERRY CREWS: ‘Idiocracy’ is so prophetic ‘it actually scares people’

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.