Destroying several months of anti-transgender bigotry in less than 10 minutes, Loretta Lynch explained how North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill” is a discriminatory tactic similar to the Jim Crow laws.
The U.S. attorney-general noted how the debate over the controversial “House Bill 2,” which was signed into law by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory in March, goes way beyond public restrooms.
“This action is about a great deal more than just bathrooms,” she said. “This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we, as a people and as a country, have enacted to protect them — indeed, to protect all of us."
Her comments came following North Carolina’s lawsuit against the Department of Justice in a bid push back against a warning that House Bill 2 violates the Civil Rights Act.
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In response, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against the state, threatening to cut down funds for North Carolina’s Department of Public Safety and the University of North Carolina.
"It was not so very long ago that states, including North Carolina, had other signs above restrooms,” Lynch added while comparing the HB2 to segregation laws. “Water fountains, and on public accommodations, keeping people out based on a distinction without a difference. We've moved beyond those dark days.”
Apart from issuing a subtle, yet powerful, warning to North Carolina’s blatant bigotry, Lynch also gave a much-needed reassurance to the transgender community that the country will not give in to fear and discrimination, not on her watch.
“No matter how isolated or scared you may feel today,” she stated, “the Department of Justice and the entire Obama administration wants you to know that we see you; we stand with you; and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward. Please know that history is on your side.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Lucas Jackson