Obama DOJ Rules NC Bathroom Law Violates Civil Rights Act

The United States Justice Department has now capitulated to the demands of activists in striking down a state law by interpreting the protections of people on the basis of "sex" in a 1960s civil rights act to apply to gender identity. This move threatens to remove millions of dollars in federal education funding.

In a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on Wednesday, the Justice Department declared that House Bill 2 violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by institutionalizing discrimination on the basis of sex in public schools. The letter gives North Carolina officials until Monday to say they will not enforce the law, otherwise the state could lose federal funding for education (North Carolina received $861 million in federal funding during the current school year, and is slated to receive $4.5 billion next year).

Vanita Gupta, principal deputy assistant attorney general, sent the letter to McCrory, laying out her case in no uncertain terms.

Specifically, the State is engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees and both you, in your official capacity, and the State are engaging in a pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of Title VII rights by transgender employees of public agencies.

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 their gender assigned at birth, while affording it to similarly situated non-transgender employees, violates Title VII.

There you have it -- the federal protection against discrimination "on the basis of sex" extends to gender identity. Biological sex, clearly what the act meant to those drafting it, must be passed over in favor of gender identity.

By ruling in this way, Gupta and the Department of Justice have made this a federal issue. They have also capitulated to the demands of transgender activists.

Last Thursday, five LGBT groups sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, arguing that the administration should threaten to remove education funding from North Carolina following H.B.2. Five groups -- the American Civil Liberties Union, LGBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center -- signed the letter.

"In the face of such a categorical violation of federal sex discrimination laws, the normal remedial process of filing complaints with federal civil rights agencies ... is wholly insufficient," the activists argued. They claimed the Obama administration should take definitive action -- and it waited less than a week before following their orders. The Obama administration gave North Carolina even less time to shape up.

Ironically, the North Carolina bathroom bill is neither absurd nor radical (the liberal city of Houston, Texas, passed a similar bill just last year), and emphatically does not discriminate on the basis of sex. The law states that school restrooms and locker rooms which are not single-occupancy must be single-sex, and that students can only use the facility that matches their biological sex as stated on their birth certificate. H.B.2 also declares that "limiting bathrooms according to biological sex is not considered discrimination."

The big issue is a confusion between basic terms, like "sex" and "gender."

Next Page: Why the Justice Department and the LGBT groups are flat-out wrong, based on the meaning of words.