Feds dis­miss suit af­ter state re­peal of ‘bath­room

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY AN­DREA NOBLE

The Jus­tice Depart­ment on Fri­day dropped its law­suit ac­cus­ing North Carolina of dis­crim­i­na­tion against trans­gen­der peo­ple fol­low­ing the state’s re­peal of its “bath­room bill.”

The move, over­seen by At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions, re­verses ac­tion taken by his pre­de­ces­sor, Loretta E. Lynch.

At­tor­neys for both North Carolina and Jus­tice filed a joint no­tice to dis­miss the law­suit, cit­ing re­cently adopted leg­is­la­tion that rolled back the law, which had prompted boy­cotts and lib­eral out­rage.

A Jus­tice Depart­ment spokesman con­firmed that the dis­missal no­tice was filed but de­clined to com­ment other­wise on the de­ci­sion.

The agree­ment was reached af­ter Repub­li­can law­mak­ers and Gov. Roy Cooper, a Demo­crat, agreed last month on a com­pro­mise that re­placed House Bill 2, which reg­u­lated ac­cess to pub­lic re­strooms and locker rooms on the ba­sis of bi­o­log­i­cal sex.

The new leg­is­la­tion re­peals the por­tion of the bill that would have re­quired trans­gen­der peo­ple to use the re­stroom that cor­re­sponds with the sex listed on their birth cer­tifi­cates.

But HB2 had also nul­li­fied lo­cal or­di­nances en­acted across the state to make gay and trans­gen­der peo­ple into pro­tected classes un­der anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion laws. The re­place­ment leg­is­la­tion places a three-year mora­to­rium on lo­cal gov­ern­ments’ abil­ity to adopt nondis­crim­i­na­tion or­di­nances that would reg­u­late re­strooms on the ba­sis of gen­der iden­tity.

Groups ad­vo­cat­ing for gay and trans­gen­der rights have been crit­i­cal of the re­place­ment bill, say­ing it does not give peo­ple pro­tec­tion from dis­crim­i­na­tion.

In a state­ment is­sued Fri­day, the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union and Lambda Le­gal con­demned the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­ci­sion.

“The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion may want to use the fake re­peal of HB2 as an ex­cuse to fur­ther turn their backs on the trans­gen­der com­mu­nity, but the rest of us aren’t go­ing to give up that eas­ily,” said James Esseks, di­rec­tor of the ACLU’s LGBT Project. “We’ll con­tinue this fight as long as it takes to truly strike down this dis­as­trous law for good.”


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