President Obama said his reading of the Bible guided him in his decision calling for students to be allowed to use school bathrooms based on their gender identity.
"My reading of Scripture tells me that the Golden Rule is pretty high up there in terms of my Christian belief," Obama said at an Elkhart, Indiana town hall meeting, according to Breitbart News.
A local resident Arvis Dawson questioned why Obama decided to make it an issue
"I'm not the one making a big deal of it," he responded, reports Breitbart. "What happens and what continues to happen is you have transgender kids in schools and they get bullied and they get ostracized and it's tough for them."
At the town hall meeting, Obama said he was more focused on combating ISIS, but he saw that schools around the U.S. were increasingly dealing with the issue, so he decided to weigh in.
"It's not like I woke up one day and said, man, you know what we really need to do is let's start working on high school bathrooms," Obama said.
Students might not feel comfortable going to a school bathroom at all, and he wanted to help alleviate that "tough situation."
The president said he respected religious beliefs, but feels like his decision is focused on the welfare of students. "Let's find a way to accommodate them in a way that makes sure that these kids are not, you know, excluded and ostracized," Obama said, according to a transcript in Indiana's South Bend Tribune
Obama predicted that the issue would end up in court. "This is going to be settled by the courts, ultimately."
Eleven states are suing the Obama administration over his guidance for transgender students, reports The Washington Post.
According to the lawsuit, Obama's guidelines have "no basis in law."
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