Monday, May 9, 2016

Dueling lawsuits

I've been reporting on the nasty "bathroom law" in North Carolina. The Justice Department had issued a position, a warning to NC, saying that Title VII protects people on the basis of sex and that includes transgender people. One aspect of that protection is that federally assisted programs (such as most schools) must not discriminate.

Gov. Pat McCrory responded by filing a lawsuit against the Justice Department. The suit's two main points: "Transgender status is not a protected class under Title VII." And the law allows for special circumstance, such as transgender people, thus the Justice Department has overstepped its bounds, a blatant and baseless overreach. Only Congress can resolve this.

Within hours Attorney General Loretta Lynch filed a countersuit. She accused North Carolina of "state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals." Her suit asks judges to permanently block the law. With the law in effect the state could lose more than $4.5 billion in federal funding for education, including $1.4 billion for The University of North Carolina system. Hmm. The GOP controlled legislature probably didn't want these kids educated anyway.

A reminder that United Methodist General Conference news will be on my brother blog. A post has gone up today.

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