Earlier this month President Barack Obama issued a directive to all U.S. public schools, he mandated that the schools let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. This landmark mandate by the Obama Administration came in the wake of the Justice department’s lawsuit against North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law. The HB2 law made it “illegal for any North Carolina municipality to extend nondiscrimination protections beyond what’s provided at the state level, thus banning and voiding all LGBT protections”, in extension this means that members of the Transgender community must use bathrooms based on the gender on their birth certificate. Allies and advocates of the LGBT community have come out strongly against this law, they say it discriminates against citizens in North Carolina who identify as Transgender. According to the Justice Department, HB2 violates Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act. Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General alerted Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina that “Title VII of the law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender, and that courts have interpreted that to include gender identity of transgender people.” He also went on to say that: “H.B. 2 … is facially discriminatory against transgender employees on the basis of sex because it treats transgender employees, whose gender identity does not match their “biological sex,” as defined by H.B. 2, differently from similarly situated non-transgender employees …”.
Prior to the DOJs lawsuit, actors, musicians and companies have spoken up against the law. PayPal canceled plans to open a new global payment center in Charlotte, North Carolina which was expected to bring 400 new jobs to the city. The NBA has even threatened to withdrawn the 2017 All Star Game from Charlotte if the HB2 is not overturned. According to the Atlantic, the Democrats in North Carolina have filed a bill to repeal the law, but cannot pass it through the North Carolina legislature due to their small size. Even after threats of losing federal funding from the Dept. of Justice and Education, the North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, and republican legislature and in the U.S. congress are defending the law.
Earlier today 10 states, including Texas filed a lawsuit against President’s Obama’s mandate to let Transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their identity. The suit claims that the mandate by the president was “unlawful”, they also argue that “the Obama administration has conspired to turn workplace and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment…”. The DOJ has yet to issue a reply to the suit but will process it and release a statement. This case will most likely reach the Supreme Court because lower courts have yet to prove “whether the federal civil rights law protects transgendered people”.
Looks like the fight for LGBT rights is not over just yet.