The Obama administration is planning to get involved in the “bathroom battle.”
According to The New York Times, the White House will send out a letter Friday to school districts telling all public schools to allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choice. There is no way to enforce the directive, but the report indicates school districts that don’t comply could lose federal funding.
House Bill 2, or HB2, was signed by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory on March 23. The act bans people from using public bathrooms that do not correspond with their biological sex. Since its passage in March, North Carolina has become a national battleground on the issue of transgender rights. It has drawn a flurry of condemnation from civil liberties groups, LGBT advocates and major businesses. It has also won praise from groups like the Family Research Council.
U.S. Justice Department officials notified North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory that House Bill 2 violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, announcing the U.S. legal action to reporters on Monday, cast the bathroom bill issue as the latest civil rights struggle of the era.
“It was not so very long ago that states, including North Carolina, had other signs above restrooms, water fountains, and on public accommodations, keeping people out based on a distinction without a difference. We’ve moved beyond those dark days,” Lynch said.