In what can only be described as a supreme example of unbridled executive overreach, the Obama Administration and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (a N.C. native) are making a desperate attempt to gut North Carolina’s House Bill 2.
In a May 4 letter to Governor Pat McCrory, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) claims North Carolina 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.” The letter contends that H.B. 2 “is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” and orders the Governor to “advise the Department [of Justice] … no later than close of business on May 9, 2016 whether you will remedy these violations of Title VII, including by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement H.B. 2…” The DOJ letter also claims that H.B. 2 violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the “Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.”
NC Family president John L. Rustin responded to the DOJ letter saying, “The Obama Administration is attempting to force its extreme liberal social agenda on North Carolina, and by doing so, has made our state ‘ground zero’ in the nation’s culture war. Unbelievably, this war is being fought over access to America’s bathrooms, and the fundamental right of every U.S. citizen to privacy, safety, and dignity is at stake. We implore Governor Pat McCrory and our state lawmakers to stand up for the common sense protections provided by House Bill 2 and to stand against the bully tactics of the president and his misguided administration.”
How Did We Get Here?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Despite the fact that “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” are not recognized as protected classifications in federal employment law (42 U.S. Code §2000e) and in the employment laws of 28 states, including North Carolina, the Obama Administration has taken it upon itself to interpret “sex” to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” In fact, the Obama Administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states on its website, “EEOC interprets and enforces Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination as forbidding any employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.” Clearly, this interpretation far exceeds the clear language that was adopted and intended by the U.S. Congress.
In addition, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. According to the U.S. DOJ website, “The principal objective of Title IX is to avoid the use of federal money to support sex discrimination in education programs and to provide individual citizens effective protection against those practices.” Despite the fact that a section of Title IX regarding “comparable facilities” clearly states, “A recipient [of Title IX funds] may provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex,” (34 CFR 106.33) the Obama Administration’s Department of Education continues to press for full access to bathrooms and locker rooms by both sexes in our nation’s public schools. Furthermore, the Department of Education has interpreted“sex” to include “gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transition, or nonconformity with sex stereotypes.”As we have seen already with H.B. 2, the federal government has no hesitation about threatening to withhold federal education funding when states do not comply with its interpretation of Title IX.
The Obama Administration’s extreme social policy has been implemented gradually through incremental changes over time in executive branch agencies and in the courts. Now, during his last few months in office, the president and his cabinet seem determined to unleash the full measure of this radical agenda on our nation, and North Carolina is at the epicenter.
On this National Day of Prayer, please continue to pray for our nation, our state, and the resolve of our state leaders!