Donald Trump‘s administration is letting North Carolina take a huge piss on progress.
On Friday, the Department of Justice said it was dropping the lawsuit it filed last year over the state’s controversial “bathroom bill” — which restricted transgender people’s use of public bathrooms.
The Obama administration previously alleged the Tar Heel state violated the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination based on sex, and argued the federal rights law also applied to trans discrimination.
Well, the Trump administration sees the issue differently — or more accurately, not worth their precious golf-playing, bomb-deploying time.
Justice Department officials said they were bowing out of the lawsuit because NC legislators recently repealed a portion of the law that clearly banned many trans people from using restrooms that match their gender identity in government facilities.
But while one part of the law, known as HB2, was repealed, state legislators kept another portion intact and added a new measure — and the final product still leaves plenty of room for LGBT discrimination.
The current policy bans local governments and schools from regulating bathroom access, and bans local LGBT rights rulings until 2020.
North Carolina joined the Trump administration in moving to dismiss the case on Friday. Governor Roy Cooper and state congressional leaders did not comment on the move because the state government is closed for Good Friday. How appropriate!
Even so, North Carolina isn’t done fighting for this policy in court; the American Civil Liberties Union is still suing the state over the bathroom bill.
ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio is unsurprised the Trump administration dropped the ball on this fight, explaining:
“This is yet another example of the Trump administration abandoning and targeting the LGBT community and particularly the trans community. The reality on the ground in North Carolina is that there has been no repeal of HB2 and our community remains targeted in both rhetoric and law.”
Like LGBT activists say, this bill still encourages barring trans people from participating in public life. Which is why it’s so disheartening to see the Justice Department tap out.
This fight isn’t over!
[Image via Instagram.]