If you’ve paid any attention to the news the last few days, you might have heard a story or two (or 10) about the standoff between North Carolina and the Department of Justice over bathroom privacy policies. If you haven’t, you can catch up here, here, and here.
In short, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against North Carolina because it claims that a recently enacted law (H.B. 2) violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). H.B. 2 requires that only biological females use women’s restrooms and locker rooms in schools and government buildings, and that only biological males use men’s restrooms and locker rooms in schools and government buildings. Laws like that protect everyone’s dignity, privacy, and safety. It is good old-fashioned common sense that men should not be in locker rooms where women and girls change clothes and take showers. But the DOJ is threatening to withdraw federal funds from schools if North Carolina enforces H.B. 2. In response to the DOJ’s threats, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and other officials filed lawsuits against the DOJ for overstepping its authority.
On Tuesday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) also filed a lawsuit against the DOJ and the Department of Education (DOE) on behalf of a group of parents and students in North Carolina. Because of the DOJ’s and DOE’s actions, students in state colleges are in danger of losing their federal student aid and their colleges are in danger of losing their federal educational funding. But a student’s ability to get a loan for her education shouldn’t depend on her willingness to share restrooms or locker rooms with members of the opposite sex.
“On behalf of North Carolina students and families—and by extension all students and families across the nation affected by the DOJ’s and DOE’s overreach—we filed suit to stop both agencies from bullying schools and universities. The agencies must stop using falsehoods about what federal law requires to threaten student access to educational opportunities and financial assistance,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco.
Here are three reasons North Carolina is right to protect the privacy and safety of its citizens:
1. The DOJ and DOE acted unlawfully by reinterpreting “sex” to include “gender identity”
The DOJ and DOE do not have the legal authority to arbitrarily interpret the meaning of a law without proper congressional approval. The DOJ and DOE took it upon themselves to declare that the term “sex” in Title VII and Title IX encompasses “gender identity” – something that was never included in the original meaning of the laws. North Carolina is right to challenge this baseless reinterpretation of these laws.
2. Title IX and Violence Against Women Act were enacted to protect the rights of women
Title IX was enacted to give girls a fair chance at attending classes and playing sports. And VAWA was designed to encourage schools to enact programs that combat sexual assault and otherwise protect and support women. By demanding that North Carolina open its public restrooms and changing rooms to members of the opposite sex, and saying that Title IX and VAWA requires it, the DOJ and DOE are turning those laws on their head. They are making women and girls less safe by forcing North Carolina to let men into women’s restrooms and locker rooms. In the DOJ’s and DOE’s view, a man doesn’t have to prove that he really perceives himself as female to access women’s facilities. He doesn’t even have to wear female clothing. Thus, any man can enter a women’s restroom or locker room if he chooses to do so. Imposing this standardless approach to bathroom and locker room access will create tremendous danger for women and girls because sexual predators will be able to enter women’s private facilities and nobody will be able to stop them until after they have hurt someone.
3. H.B. 2 is Common Sense
A recent survey says that nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 8 high school girls have been sexually assaulted. And evidence shows that bathrooms are one of the most common places that sexual assault occurs. Thus, allowing men to use women’s bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms puts women at risk. By preventing this, H.B 2 is a common sense law that ensures the privacy and safety of all North Carolinians, and North Carolina officials, parents, and students are right to support it.
Enough is enough: No men in the women’s restroom
Policies permitting access to restrooms, locker rooms, and changing rooms based on a person’s gender identity, rather than their biological sex, are being enacted across the country. These policies open up private facilities to members of the opposite sex as part of an effort to push a political agenda. Now the unintended victims of such misguided policies are being forced to speak up and share their experiences in hopes of educating society on the consequences of such laws.
Watch the video to hear their powerful stories and sign the statement today supporting those who are working to keep women and children safe.