President Barack Obama’s deputies have told the North Carolina Governor that all single-sex public bathrooms — including those in K-12 schools — must be opened to people of both sexes by Monday to prevent “discrimination” against the roughly 1-in-2,400 American adults who say they’re transgender.
If the state doesn’t give up Americans’ right to decide who gets to use single-sex bathrooms and school locker rooms by Monday, then the federal government could start blocking the routine federal spending and tax transfers to the state — unless federal courts block the administration’s threat of sex-related harassment.
“The Department of Justice has determined that … you and the state of NC are in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 0f 1964,” says the May 4 threat from Obama’s justice department to the Governor.
The state’s new HB2 sex-definition law “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 HB2, differently from similarly situated non transgender employees,” says the letter. The legal claims in the letter are based on a decision by Attorney General Eric Holder — not by Congress — in December 2014.
Republican Gov. Pat McCrory released a cautious press statement:
A claim by the Obama administration charges that one part of House Bill 2, which requires state employees in public government buildings and students in our universities to use a restroom, locker room and shower facility that match their biological sex, is now in violation of federal law. The Obama administration has not only staked out its position for North Carolina, but for all states, universities and most employers in the U.S.
The right and expectation of privacy in one of the most private areas of our personal lives is now in jeopardy. We will be reviewing to determine the next steps.
According to progressives, “transgender” people suffer illegal discrimination when their efforts to dress and live as people of the other sex face criticism and stigma from Americans, or when they face legal restrictions, such as single-sex bathrooms. A study of the 201o census concluded that roughly 1-in-2,400 adults have changed their names to the other sex.
The issue of transgender status has spiked since last year, when the Supreme Court granted progressives a huge win by declaring that all state marriage laws must be redefined to allow single-sex couples to get marriage licenses.
The North Carolina dispute began in Charlottesville when the city changed their local privacy laws to allow people to enter male or female bathrooms by simply declaring that their feelings, or their “gender expression” or “gender identity,” makes them male or female.
In March, the state’s legislature cleaned up the privacy problem by passing a law, dubbed HB2, which defines “gender” as the sex described on a person’s birth certificate. This established a compromise rule because it allows people to use bathrooms intended for the opposite sex once they have legally modified their state birth certificate. In North Carolina, people can change the sex marked on their birth certificate after undergoing medical treatment, even though the surgery and hormone treatment cannot actually change the sex of a person, which is determined by their molecular DNA coding.
The new HB2 law is broadly popular in the state. A mid-April poll asked a skewed question — “How do you feel about HB2 [House Bill 2] requiring people to follow their birth certificate in using a restroom?” Despite the hard-to-understand question, 46 percent of North Carolina voters strongly supported the state law affirming people’s right to single-sex bathrooms, while 25 percent strongly opposed the protections.
But progressive gay, feminist, and transgender groups fiercely oppose the state’s decision to demarcate any distinctions between the sexes, male and female, or girls and boys.
In part, that’s because these lobbies ideologically oppose any legal or social recognition of the two sexes, which they deride as the “gender binary.” These progressives instead wish to create laws and social norms that allow people — including children — to declare themselves “gender fluid,” or to freely mix-and-match common features of male and female without suffering any criticism from Americans or any disincentives from communities and governments that want to preserve single-sex sports, bathrooms, changing rooms, or school locker rooms. In part, single-sex facilities help teenagers postpone and manage sexual competition until they’re 18.
To push their anti-sexes ideology, progressives have rallied many major companies, plus stars from the commercial-culture sector, to trash North Carolina’s compromise legislation as “extreme” and “discrimination.”
That’s the post-sex ideology now being pushed by Obama’s Department of Justice via its new threat to the state.
Title VII prohibits an employer from discriminating against an individual on the basis of sex and from otherwise resisting the full enjoyment of Title VII rights … Federal courts and administrative agencies have applied Title VII to discrimination against transgender individuals based on sex, including gender identity … Access to sex-segregated restrooms and other workplace facilities consistent with gender identity is a term, condition or privilege of employment. Denying such access to transgender individuals, whose gender identity is different from the gender assigned at birth, while affording it to similarly situated non-transgender employees, violates Title VII … Please advise the department, therefore, no later than the close of business on May 9, 2016, whether you will remedy these violations of Title VII including by confirming that the state will not comply with or implement HB2.
State politicians slammed the federal government’s threat, according to the Charlotte Observer newspaper:
House Speaker Tim Moore called the letter “a huge over-reach (by) the federal government.”
“It looks an awful lot like politics to me,” Moore, a Kings Mountain Republican, told reporters. “I guess President Obama, in his final months in office, has decided to take up this ultra-liberal agenda.”
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger called the ruling “a gross overreach … that deserves to be struck down in federal court.” And Lt. Gov. Dan Forest blasted the Obama administration.
“To use our children and their educational futures as pawns to advance an agenda that will ultimately open those same children up to exploitation at the hands of sexual predators is by far, the sickest example of the depths the … administration will stoop to ‘fundamentally transform our nation’,” he said.
In neighboring Virginia, Obama’s education department has used the same agency-invented claim — that the 1964 law bars “gender discrimination” — to win a lawsuit in April that requires a school to allow a girl to use the boys’ bathrooms in a Virginia school.