“The More things change the more they stay the same”
The U.S. Department of Justice is joining Bruce Springsteen, Paypal, and the NBA in weighing in against North Carolina’s HB2, the controversial law that—among other conditions—mandates that transgender people use the bathroom conforming to the gender on their birth certificate, rather than the one which they associate, in state buildings, and bars cities from enacting ordinances to require transgender-bathroom accommodation.
In a letter to Governor Pat McCrory on Wednesday, the Justice Department said that HB2 violates Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act. In the letter, first reported by The Charlotte Observer, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta notes that Title VII of the law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender, and that courts have interpreted that to include gender identity of transgender people. The letter (via WRAL) states:
H.B. 2 … is facially discriminatory against transgender employees on the basis of sex because it treats transgender employees, whose gender identity does not match their “biological sex,” as defined by H.B. 2, differently from similarly situated non-transgender employees …
H.B. 2 places similar restrictions on access to restrooms and changing facilities for all public agencies in North Carolina. By requiring compliance with H.B. 2, you and the State are therefore resisting the full enjoyment of Title VII rights and discriminating against transgender employees of public agencies by requiring those public agencies to comply with H.B. 2.
The department demands that McCrory respond by close of business on May 9 that he will remedy the violations, “including by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement H.B. 2.”