The Obama administration is striking back at bathroom laws hard.
First, the U.S. Justice Department announced that they were suing North Carolina over House Bill #2. Now, they've issued a guidance to public schools directing them to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match with their gender identity.
The letter which came from the Departments of Education and Justice was sent to schools today and contained "guidelines to ensure transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment."
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said:
"There is no room in our schools for discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against transgender students on the basis of their sex. This guidance gives administrators, teachers and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies."
The letter obviously didn't sit well with North Carolina Governor Pat McGory who said in a statement "Most Americans, including this governor, believe that government is searching for a solution to a problem that has yet to be defined. Now, both the federal courts and the U.S. Congress must intercede to stop this massive executive branch overreach, which clearly oversteps constitutional authority."
The Justice and Education Department has been pretty emphatic that their interpretation of Title IX (the federal anti-discrimination law in education), if schools discriminate against students based on their sex (including their transgender status) the school may be stripped of its federal funding.
Several other lawmakers have taken offense to the issue. Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick practically accused the administration of blackmail and social engineering.
LGBT groups have praised the announcement and the administration's stance regarding the bathroom laws.