Equity & Diversity

Fourth Suit Filed Over N.C. Law; Families Say ‘Bathroom Bill’ Doesn’t Violate Title IX

By Evie Blad — May 12, 2016 1 min read
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The tally of federal lawsuits filed over North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” is now 2-2, with a tie between complaints in support of the measure and complaints in opposition.

A group of North Carolina parents and unidentified students of the state’s K-12 schools and universities filed a suit in support of the state’s new law Tuesday, arguing that a portion of the law that requires public buildings, including schools, to restrict restroom access by sex at birth does not violate Title IX.

“The group, calling itself North Carolinians for Privacy, filed suit Tuesday against the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education,” the News & Observer reports. “The group is represented by attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based conservative Christian nonprofit.”

Federal officials have said the state restrictions, the first of their kind, violate the federal civil rights law by requiring transgender students and employees to use facilities that may not align with their gender identity. The U.S. Department of Justice made that assertion in a lawsuit Monday, which followed a suit by the state arguing against that interpretation of law. A federal appeals court with jurisdiction over North Carolina recently the federal agencies’ interpretation of Title IX is valid in a decision appealed by the Virginia school district at the heart of that case.

The three suits this week follow a complaint filed by the ACLU of North Carolina in March, shortly after the law was passed in a one-day special session.

Potentially at stake is billions of dollars of federal funding to North Carolina’s schools, colleges, and universities. A group of state Republican lawmakers this week wrote to U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. seeking assurances that that funding wouldn’t be cut as a result of the dispute. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Education did not respond to questions about the letter this week.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Rules for Engagement blog.