- Yesterday the Justice Department filed a complaint against the state of North Carolina, the University of North Carolina and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety alleging that they are discriminating against transgender individuals in violation of federal law as a result of the state’s compliance with and implementation of House Bill 2. H.B. 2 requires public agencies to treat transgender individuals, whose gender identity does not match the sex they were assigned at birth, differently from similarly situated non-transgender individuals.
- In remarks at a press conference announcing the complaint, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said: “This action is about a great deal more than just bathrooms. This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we, as a people and as a country, have enacted to protect them – indeed, to protect all of us. And it’s about the founding ideals that have led this country – haltingly but inexorably – in the direction of fairness, inclusion and equality for all Americans.”
- Head of the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta said the complaint “speaks to all of us who have ever been made to feel inferior – like somehow we just don’t belong in our community, like somehow we just don’t fit in. Let me reassure every transgender individual, right here in America, that you belong just as you are. You are supported. And you are protected.”
- Our complaint brings legal claims under three different civil rights statutes. Two of these statutes are long-standing protections against discrimination in the employment and education contexts: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. We also bring a claim under the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, a more recent statute specifically designed to prevent discrimination against transgender people by entities that accept certain federal funds.
Updated December 28, 2016