Trump Administration Abandons Defense of Transgender North Carolinians
Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) abandoned the federal government’s historic legal challenge to North Carolina’s anti-transgender law HB 2, citing the state’s recent passage of HB 142, the bait-and-switch bill falsely portrayed by its proponents as a repeal of HB 2. The National Center for Transgender Equality condemns this decision and calls upon the DOJ to protect transgender citizens from discriminatory laws and regulations.
NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling offers the following statement:
Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch correctly spoke to our country’s best traditions when saying this case was about "the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens, and the founding ideals that have led this country—haltingly but inexorably—in the direction of fairness, inclusion and equality for all Americans." Since taking office, the Trump Administration has sought to dismantle a range of protections, rights, and civil protections for more than 1.4 million transgender people in the United States. Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice is waging a campaign to target the rights of the transgender community. While the federal government is abdicating its responsibility, discriminatory measures like HB 2 and its successor will not stand, because they have brought too much shame and harm to the people of North Carolina.
HB 142, also known as HB 2.0, doubles down on HB 2 and enshrines discrimination against the estimated 45,000 transgender North Carolinians into law. The DOJ lawsuit alleged that HB 2 violated the federal Title IX law (which prohibits discrimination in schools), Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (which prohibits discrimination in employment), and the Violence Against Women Act (which prohibits discrimination in DOJ-funded programs).
HB 2.0 continues to be challenged in a separate case brought by LGBT workers and students, represented by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union.