The Obama administration’s directive Friday that every public school provide transgender access — or face the loss of federal funds — drew swift and strong condemnation from conservatives, with one public official blasting it as presidential “blackmail.”

The administration’s directive — citing Title IX in telling schools to give transgender students access to all activities and facilities consistent with their gender identity — effectively touched off a national debate that could well extend into the next president’s term and reverberate through the courts. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, speaking to reporters Friday, said his state “will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.” READ MORE