Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Congressman Hill responds to transgender classmate's complaint

Posted By on Wed, May 18, 2016 at 10:58 AM

click to enlarge SARAH VESTAL
  • SARAH VESTAL
Readers of the Arkansas Blog may remember Sarah Vestal, who wrote here in 2015 about her attendance at the 40th reunion of the 1975 class of Catholic High School, where she was known as Charles.

Vestal has been speaking up vigorously in the recent discussion about transgender use of restrooms. She visited the office yesterday of U.S. Rep. French Hill,  also a member of the Catholic High class of 1975. She was unhappy with the reception and wrote Hill:

French,

Am I the only transgender person you know, French?

I want to explain to you why you are putting me in physical danger by refuting my human rights. Why exactly will you not meet with me and hear my concerns directly? Why did I have to be treated so rudely in your LR office yesterday? So, come on French. You have known me for 50 years and I am hurting with this wrong policy of yours.

Sarah Vestal
Hill responded today by letter that Vestal shared:

Dear Dr. Vestal:

Thank you for contacting me regarding recent laws affecting the use of bathrooms by transgender individuals and requesting to visit with me on this issue. I appreciate hearing from you and having the opportunity to respond and am glad you had the chance to speak with my Deputy Chief of Staff.

While I understand your concerns surrounding the debate about gender identification and the use of bathrooms and locker rooms, I believe this is an issue best left to our states, local communities, and private businesses. The federal government's recent directive to our nation's schools on gender identification is outside the scope of its power and should remain in the hands of our local school officials and administrators. Our local school officials should do what they believe is best to continue to ensure a school environment for Arkansas's students that promotes safety and health above all else.

I appreciate the fact that you are personally affected by this current debate, and thank you for coming by my district office in Little Rock to discuss this important issue. As you may know, Arkansas law currently does not specify which bathroom people must use and the law permits transgender individuals born in the state to amend their birth certificates to represent their gender identity. I advocate for tolerance and the removal of any and all prejudices from society, and as I continue to monitor this issue I will keep in mind your thoughts and concerns.


Sincerely,
French Hill
Member of Congress
In the current climate in Arkansas, I think you have to give Hill some credit. He provides a pathway to the bathroom that North Carolina and many others will not, with the customary Republican bashing of President Obama for citing federal law and federal court precedent as a guide for school officials to follow.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • After the storm open line

    Flooding remains after a deadly storm that left damage over much of Arkansas. An open line for Sunday evening.
    • Apr 30, 2017
  • LR City Board talks about crime and gang violence

    Police Chief Kenton Buckner talked to the Little Rock City Board this afternoon at a special meeting about violent crime and the role being played by gang activities. The police can do more — and will, he said. But police alone are not the solution for problems besetting the most crime-prone neighborhoods.
    • Apr 30, 2017
  • Opponents of Little Rock school tax say construction possible without new taxes

    Opponents of an extension of 12.4 millions in Little Rock School District property taxes at a cost of $600 million or more say critical construction needs in the district can be made without a bond issue that lines the pockets of bond firms and lawyers.
    • Apr 30, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Democrats name new House minority leader

    Rep. Michael John Gray of Augusta has been elected leader of the House Democratic Caucus, the minority party. He succeeds Rep. Eddie Armstrong of North Little Rock. He's a farmer and small business owner.
    • Sep 25, 2015
  • 'How to decimate a city' — a big freeway

    Reporting from around the U.S. continues to illustrate the folly of the Arkansas highway department and construction boosters like the chamber of commerce and Vice Mayor Lance Hines in advocating ever wider freeways through the heart of Little Rock. Syracuse, N.Y., is looking for a better way in a debate remarkably similar to the debate about widening Interstate 30 in Little Rock.
    • Nov 20, 2015
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • Workers stiffed

    How is it going with the great experiment to make the Republican Party the champion of the sons and daughters of toil instead of the oligarchs of wealth and business?
  • O'Reilly's fall

    Whom the gods would destroy, they first make TV stars.

Visit Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Fishing the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Arkansas angler and fishing expert Billy Murray shares his extensive knowledge of the Diamond Lakes of Arkansas

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation