Republicans seek Obama impeachment over bathroom rule

Republican lawmakers in Oklahoma have called for the impeachment of President Barack Obama over a White House rule that schools must accommodate transgender students to use the restroom of their choice.

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

The debate on whether transgenders can use washroom of their choice continues to divide politicians.

The transgender bathroom debate in the US has taken another bizarre turn. Republican lawmakers in the state of Oklahoma have called for the impeachment of President Barack Obama over the White House recommendation that schools should accommodate transgender students.

The Obama administration told US public schools last week that transgender students must be allowed to use the restrooms of their choice, and this upset the Republicans.

Legal experts told local media outlets that the impeachment call made on Thursday is on shaky ground.

Troy Stevenson, executive director of Freedom Oklahoma, an LGBT advocacy group said the measure promoted fear-mongering and was out of place

"In a time when our state is facing an unprecedented economic crisis, our lawmakers should be focused on righting the ship rather than stigmatising transgender youth," he said in a statement. 

The matter of transgenders using the bathroom of their liking has blown into a national issue, especially since North Carolina passed a law that forces transgenders to use restrooms according to their sex at birth.

Nationally, the issue has led to a widespread backlash against that state with celebrities like Bruce Springsteen cancelling shows there and others calling for boycott.

Conservative politicians have given voice to public fear of assaulting women in order to gather support against the freedom of transgenders to choose which restroom they will use to relieve themselves, adding that men could disguise themselves as a transgender individual to enter female restrooms.

But the lawmakers in the socially conservative Oklahoma state have gone a step further.

They took up another measure on Friday that would allow students to claim a religious right to have separate but equal bathrooms and changing facilities to segregate them from transgender students.

That bill could force schools into costly construction. The move has comes at a time when lawmakers have significantly cut education funding to plug a $1.3 billion state budget shortfall.

The Oklahoma bill would allow for segregation at school restrooms, athletic changing facilities and showers if a request is made to accommodate religious beliefs.

But, Governor Mary Fallin vetoed the bill because it would not withstand a criminal constitutional legal challenge, her office said.

TRTWorld, Reuters