President Donald Trump's administration has withdrawn a stay request that aims to limit the injunction against the enforcement of the transgender bathroom policy in public schools.
In August, a federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction against a policy that directs public schools to allow students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity. The Obama administration had later filed a motion seeking to limit the injunction to the 13 states that challenged the policy.
On Friday, the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, withdrew the motion, stating in its legal brief to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that "the parties are currently considering how best to proceed in the appeal," Christian Science Monitor reported.
The policy in question was an interpretation of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits sex discrimination in schools.
Under the Obama administration's interpretation of the law, the discrimination protections extend to gender identity, which means that transgender students should have access to bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to the gender they identify with.
Gary McCaleb, senior counsel with the legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, welcomed the Trump administration's decision to drop the request.
"This is good news for the privacy, safety, and dignity of young students across America," said McCaleb, according to Catholic News Agency.
McCaleb argued that the Obama administration's policy had "radically distorted" Title IX, which he said was "intended to equalize educational opportunities for women."
"It is only common sense to ensure privacy for all students by keeping boys out of girls' locker rooms and vice versa. It's right to respect the real differences between boys and girls, because that protects the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students," he said.
The withdrawal of the request drew criticisms from LGBT rights groups, such as the Human Rights Campaign, which called on the president to reverse course.
"Transgender students are entitled to the full protection of the United States Constitution and our federal nondiscrimination laws," said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin, as reported by The Christian Post.
The decision to drop the motion comes just before the U.S. Supreme Court hears the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student in Virginia, and the Gloucester County School Board. Grimm, who was born a female but identifies as male, sued the school board for preventing him from using the boy's bathroom in his school.
A lower court ruled in Grimm's favor in August, but the school board appealed to the Supreme Court.