Congressman Hill responds to transgender classmate's complaint | Arkansas Blog

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

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

  • An open line for Sunday

    An open line.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • City plans more spending on 30 Crossing

    The Little Rock City Board meets Tuesday to set an agenda for the following week and among the "consent" items is a new $175,000 with Nelson/Nygaard consultants to "assist with a comprehensive review" of the 30 Crossing project, otherwise known as the bigger concrete ditch the Department of Transportation wants to tear through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • NFL owners rise to defense of players against Trump and false patriots

    Many football team owners have risen to the defense of players against Donald Trump criticism as yet another racially fraught issue seems likely to gain increasing heat thanks to Trump's rhetoric.
    • Sep 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • 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
  • Hospitality, restaurant groups oppose bathroom bill

    Add the restaurant and hospitality association to those opposed to Sen. Linda Collins-Smith's bill to keep transgender people out of public restrooms that match their gender identity.
    • Mar 16, 2017
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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