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Ohio Sen. Rob Portman Disagrees with North Carolina's Transgender Bathroom Law

A photo of Sen. Rob Portman.

The federal departments of Justice and Education released a memo last week recommending schools allow students to use bathroom facilities that match their gender identity. StateImpact Ohio’s Michelle Faust reports Ohio’s Republican senator disagrees with the Obama administration’s approach -- and with the North Carolina law that spawned it.

While Ohio schools consider how they’ll respond to the federal guidelines, Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman says the issue should not be taken up by the executive branch of government.

“They ought to be at least consulting with people in these local communities and schools and getting input. And again, this is probably one that’s more appropriate to go through the legislative branch.”

Portman disagrees with a North Carolina law that requires everyone use the bathroom that matches their sex at birth.

“I don’t think it achieved the right balance between protecting the rights of individuals on the one hand and religious liberty on the other hand. I think it tilted the balance and that’s why I think it’s wrong.”

Several school districts in Ohio already have policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual identity. The state Department of Education is reviewing the federal guidelines.