The Story: Last week the Justice Department (DOJ) sent a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory warning that the state’s recently enacted House Bill 2 violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The DOJ had given the governor until yesterday to respond.
North Carolina responded by filing a federal lawsuit—and the DOJ countered with a lawsuit of their own.
The Background: For the background on House Bill 2 and the Obama administration’s initial response, see this article.
In the latest development, Gov. McCrory filed a federal lawsuit accusing the DOJ of a “radical reinterpretation” of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and claiming that the federal government position is “a baseless and blatant overreach.”
“This is an attempt to unilaterally rewrite long-established federal civil rights laws in a manner that is wholly inconsistent with the intent of Congress and disregards decades of statutory interpretation by the Courts,” the complaint states.
The DOJ filed its own suit saying, “transgender individuals seeking access to covered facilities have suffered and continue to suffer injury, including, without limitation, emotional harm, mental anguish, distress, humiliation, and indignity as a direct and proximate result of compliance with and implementation of HB2.”
In a press conference yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch compared HB 2 with the laws that discriminated against African Americans until the 1960s. “This is not the first time that we have seen discriminatory responses to historic moments of progress for our nation,” Lynch said. “We saw it in the Jim Crow laws that followed the Emancipation Proclamation.”
Why It Matters: Last week I wrote about how the DOJ policy is more than just a fight over bathrooms. This latest escalation, however, shows that Christians should be deeply troubled by the lawless actions and despicable rhetoric of the Obama administration.
First, Lynch’s comparison of HB 2 to Jim Crow laws is outrageous. The attorney general claims that anyone who objects to a man sharing the women’s showers in a public locker room is as bigoted as refusing to share a lunch counter with African Americans. (Lynch also said that opposition to same-sex marriage—a position her boss shared until four years ago—is discrimination.) Lynch, by her comments and her actions, has made a mockery of the legacy of the civil rights movement.
Lynch implies that people who support requirements that single-sex bathrooms be restricted to people of a single biological sex are as loathsome as racists. She is saying that a refusal to deny reality by calling men women and women men is bigotry. Unfortunately, her rhetoric is likely to have the intended effect: to silence dissent.
Second, the Obama administration is attempting to circumvent the will of the American people. In 1994 Democrats in Congress introduced Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), legislation that would prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by employers with at least 15 employees. Almost every year ENDA is reintroduced and rejected by Congress.
Frustrated by the lack of progress on the bill, President Obama had the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission amend, by executive fiat, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As David French says, “At a stroke, the EEOC decided that it was going to essentially enforce ENDA—a statute that doesn’t exist. Democracy wasn’t working fast enough for the Obama administration, so it decided to give authoritarianism a try.”
North Carolina is attempting to uphold both the spirit and the letter of the federal law. But the DOJ is attempting to force the state to comply with their unconstitutional amending of a long-standing federal statute.
In their rush to embrace LGBQIAO political correctness, the Obama administration is opening up public facilities for harassment and abuse. There is no definition in federal law that defines or limits transgenderism. Once the law is in place any man can take a shower in the women’s public facilities. Because gender is considered “fluid,” a man could claim to “identify” as a woman when he crosses the threshold of the women’s locker room and identify as a man when he leaves. But in most cases he won’t even have to identify at all since it would be “discriminatory” to ask about his gender identity.
This is not a hyperbolic claim intended to spark fear; it’s merely the logical outcome of the LGBQIAO agenda to remove all barriers related to sex and gender. The supporters of transgenderism claim that what people feel “inside” determines their sex, regardless of their biological features. The fact that some people do not want to be exposed to the sexual organs of the opposite biological sex is of no concern to LGBQIAO activists. Such “prudishness” is considered a sign of bigotry and a need for “education.”
And our children will be getting just such a sexual education, since schools and public facilities (and, in time, private businesses) will soon not be able to prevent children and teenagers from being exposed in confined public spaces to the opposite sex. If you doubt the truth of this claim, you merely have to read the laws already in place. Take, for example, the law passed last year in Washington state:
If another person expresses concern or discomfort about a person who uses a facility that is consistent with the person’s gender expression or gender identity, the person expressing discomfort should be directed to a separate or gender-neutral facility, if available. [emphasis added]
Notice that the law implies that the person who refuses to deny biological reality must make the sacrifice. If women and young girls are uncomfortable sharing a shower with a man, they can use other facilities. And if none is available, it’s the price they pay for their “transphobia.”
Unfortunately, this is not a hypothetical situation. The Washington law was in place less than a month when a man walked into a women’s locker room and started undressing while a youth swim team used the facilities. The staff confronted the man who told them, correctly, that he was allowed to use the women’s facilities. The staff didn’t call the police, because the man had broken no law.
Just because no law is broken does not mean no harm has been done. In the video below, several individuals speak from experience dealing with the issue of sexual abuse and explain why opening the women’s restroom to biological men is a harmful policy.