Local activists speak out on transgender bathroom policy

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SCOTTSBLUFF,Neb The transgender bathroom policy outlined by the Obama Administration has Republicans outraged including Nebraska’s own Governor Pete Ricketts however not everyone is opposed to the measure.

"We`re talking about going to the bathroom. It`s a basic human right and we need to treat people as individuals and kind of bring back our humanity," said local LGBT activist, Jeff Leanna.

"This is a situation that needs to be brought to light to really understand what is happening and to avoid the misinformation that is being spread by the Republican leadership and our governor who really should stop speaking about issues he has no information about and no knowledge about," said Chairman of the Scotts Bluff Democratic Party, Stan Kontogiannis.

The transgender bathroom directive allows students that identify as transgender to use facilities such as bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. Despite the president`s decree for schools to adopt the policy the directive did not enforce any new regulations on schools. The policy refers more to expectations of school districts in order to receive state aid. Although school boards have been caught in the middle of this controversy the superintendent of the largest school district in the panhandle says the transgender ruling goes beyond the legal system.

"Should we have this issue in our school we would do exactly the same thing. We would talk with the child, and talk to the parent we obviously would respect any type of legal direction we had. We think about all kids and make the best decision we possibly can,” said Scottsbluff Public Schools Superintendent, Rick Myles.

Local activists say Republicans need to back off and allow individuals of the LGBT community to have the same rights as heterosexuals.

"A lot of it is just ignorance or not understanding the issues around transgender individuals and we`re making sure we`re doing our best to educate everyone on who transgendered individuals are ," said Leanna.

"We are different and that`s what we celebrate. Diversity, understanding and compassion. We need compassion not only for transgender people but for people who aren`t like us," said Kontogiannis.

As the Obama Administration continues to advocate for the rights of the lesbian, gay and transgender community the fight over its place in America is expected to be an ongoing battle.