As Ecuador celebrates its first election where transgender voters were allowed to put the gender they identify with on their ballot cards, the US seems to be taking a giant step in the other direction when it comes to trans rights.

On Wednesday, Donald Trump’s administration revoked a key piece of guidance to public schools, which allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.

In May 2016 then President Obama had instructed schools to allow for this provision or risk the loss of funding. The decision had been hailed as a victory not only for the transgender community, but for human rights in general.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was initially against the revocation, which was championed by the Attorney General Jeff Session. It was only after the President compelled her to sign the directive that she did so, according to the New York Times.

In a statement the White House reiterated Trump’s decision:

As President Trump has clearly stated, he believes policy regarding transgender bathrooms should be decided at the state level. The joint decision made today by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education returning power to the states paves the way for an open and inclusive process to take place at the local level with input from parents, students, teachers and administrators.

However, the move was met with widespread opposition and some 200 people protested in front of the White House in response.

Picture:Picture: Reuters screengrab

Last year during an interview with ABC News, Donald Trump said that, if the newly transitioned Caitlyn Jenner wanted to visit Trump Tower, she could use "any bathroom she chooses".

Apple was one of the first to condemn the decision:

We disagree with any effort to limit or rescind [transgender students’] rights and protections.

And others are pointing out that the last month of Trump's presidency seems to disenfranchise particular groups of people...

Katy Perry was also quick to condemn the move:

A transgender woman died by suicide after being placed in an all-male prison in the UK, and statistics show that 30 per cent of transgender youth report a history of at least one suicide attempt.

Trump's decision may mean young trasngender people in schools will have to use a toilet they are uncomfortable in, which could lead to mental health issues.

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