Legislation that keeps men out of women’s bathrooms is directly contrary to American values, according to assistant attorney general Vanita Gupta, who heads up the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division.
Gupta made the claim at a forum held on Tuesday by the Washington Council of Lawyers.
U.S. Attorney’s Office in Jackson, Miss.
“Even after the Supreme Court’s landmark gay marriage decision last year in Obergefell v. Hodges that guaranteed all people ‘equal dignity in the eyes of the law,’ we see new efforts to deny LGBTI individuals the respect they deserve and the protection our laws guarantee,” Gupta said.
“And let me add this — efforts like House Bill 2 in North Carolina not only violate the laws that govern our nation, but also the values that define us as a people,” she continued.
North Carolina’s H.B. 2 requires people to use bathrooms according to their biological sex, rather than by their self-proclaimed gender identity.
“The Justice Department recently sued the state of North Carolina to challenge the provision in H.B. 2 that prevents transgender individuals from using restrooms and changing facilities consistent with their gender identity,” Gupta went on to say.
“As I said the day we announced the lawsuit, calling H.B. 2 a ‘bathroom bill’ trivializes what this is really about. H.B. 2 translates into discrimination in the real world.”
Gupta made a similar claim in a speech Wednesday at a civil rights symposium hosted by the U.S. Attorneys Office.
“We also believe that America cannot reach its full potential and promise until every person in this country — regardless of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity — can live free from discrimination, harassment and violence,” she said before repeating her claim that H.B. 2 is contrary to “the values that define us as a people.”