Civil Rights

Justice Department asks judge to block North Carolina bathroom law, cites 'stigmatic harm'

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The U.S. Justice Department is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent North Carolina from enforcing a law that requires government facilities to restrict restrooms to people of the same biological sex.

The brief (PDF) filed Tuesday argues that excluding transgender people from bathroom and changing facilities consistent with their gender identity “causes significant and irreparable physical, psychological, economic, social, and stigmatic harm to transgender people.” The Charlotte Observer, the Associated Press, the Greensboro News & Record and the Advocate have stories.

The brief says that the law is “a solution to a nonexistent problem” and constitutes state-sanctioned discrimination.

The Justice Department cites an April decision by the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board. The decision reinstated a Title IX claim by a transgender teen who sued over his school’s refusal to allow him to use the boys’ restroom.

The brief argues the law constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, in federal employment rights in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and in programs receiving federal funds in violation of the Violence Against Women act.

Related article: “DOJ and North Carolina trade lawsuits over transgender bathroom law”

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