NORTH CAROLINA: Justice Department Quietly Moves To Drop Federal Opposition To Anti-LGBT Hate Law

The Charlotte Observer reports:

The Trump administration is taking steps to drop the federal government’s legal fight against House Bill 2.

The Justice Department wrote in a motion last week that it needs time to rethink its 2016 request to halt North Carolina’s requirement that transgender people use restrooms in many public buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. The federal judge responded on Friday with a stay that freezes efforts started by lawyers working under President Barack Obama to block the law with a preliminary injunction.

The Justice Department’s move was foreshadowed last month by the Trump administration’s reversal of guidelines that transgender students nationwide should be able to use school bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

Despite the Justice Department’s reversal, North Carolina residents challenging the law can press ahead with a separate lawsuit, but they’ve lost the dual punch provided by federal lawyers.

There’s more HB2 news from Lambda Legal:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has scheduled oral arguments in the lawsuit challenging House Bill 2, North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law, for Wednesday, May 10, in Richmond, Virginia.

H.B. 2 bans many transgender people from restrooms and other public facilities matching their gender and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. On May 10, a three-judge panel will consider a request to block the anti-transgender provisions of the law barring transgender individuals from using restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender. In August 2016, a lower court blocked the University of North Carolina from enforcing those provisions against three transgender plaintiffs in the case.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, which represent four LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina in the legal challenge, released the following joint statement:

“We look forward to being back in court to fight to ensure that all transgender people in North Carolina are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve and that is required by law. House Bill 2 represents an egregious attack on transgender people and their ability to participate in public life. While we continue to urge North Carolina legislators to repeal the law entirely, without still sanctioning discrimination, particularly against transgender people, we cannot wait for lawmakers to do the right thing. We will continue to fight for the rights of LGBT North Carolinians in court and beyond.”

  • clay

    Yeah, I’m expecting a “religious freedom” EO sometime in the first 100 days.

    • David L. Caster

      Congress has that bun in the oven. The RR wants that more than an EO.

      • clay

        Yeah, but I’m having trouble believing that Donny will want to share the spotlight.

        • David L. Caster

          True, but Ryan and McConnell want their chance to appease their reliable base and with Trump providing covering distractions they are just the pair to do it. You may have noticed that those two have for the most part stayed out of the spotlight since Trump began to blow up.

    • S1AMER

      I’d say there’s a strong chance that a future Supreme Court ruling for “religious freedom” is not too many years off.

      And such a ruling would mean the end of any non-discrimination protections we currently have in some states.

      • David L. Caster

        I’m not quite that pessimistic. Too much precedent to suggest otherwise. Now, if the appointments are really off the wall judges, maybe, but even that is not too likely.

        • TimCA

          After some years and more and more GOP judicial appointments on the federal level, I can see the real possibility of various rulings beginning to erode statewide and local anti-discrimination ordinances though.

          • David L. Caster

            Likely if government at the state level pushes for it, because legal resources. Some anti-gay citizen’s group might try it too, but to less effect. Overall, the climate for advancement of civil rights is not good. Thus, we need more activism at the state level first, then nationally.

          • Ninja0980

            Yup and with over 100 judicial vacancies, that’s not a far off fear.

    • pj

      count on it

  • David L. Caster

    Predictable. It needs to be fixed at the state level now.

    • clay

      Seems like a stalemate between the legislative and executive– have to rely on the courts being far-sighted.

      • David L. Caster

        I’m guessing SCOTUS will have to deal with this eventually.

        • S1AMER

          Yes, but by that time Trump will have made at least one but possibly two or more appointments. So you can guess how that will turn out …

          • David L. Caster

            There’s that. OTOH, even the previous court at full strength would likely have ruled the same way 5-4 against trans rights.

          • Ninja0980

            Yup, like so many other folks (including family members that support the hubby and I) the support for LGBT rights stops at the B in LGBT.

          • David L. Caster

            The gay rights movement screwed up the strategy for making it better for the trans community by not taking advantage of the incremental approach that could have easily put essentially all of this anti-gay and anti-trans shit out of reach of the bigots. Establish one beachhead at a time and use the legal arguments that made that possible to extend the victory to the next level. But no, again the perfect became the enemy of the good and we missed the window to get us added to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a victory that would have been much easier to extend to transfolk during the Obama years.

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            Not to mention not tipping generously for good service.

            Thank you.

    • Blake Jordan

      So your rights depend on the state you live in, so much for equal protection under there law…

      • David L. Caster

        I know, not good. Since SCOTUS punted, it goes back down to a federal court, from there it will probably circle back up. The issue is not dead, we didn’t “lose” yet. Let’s hope this resolves itself properly. It is definitely the case that we need to get to work in the states to turn things around. Remember, 2020 is coming and with it a new census. Think about that for a moment.

  • HZ81

    Hey Trump should start his own line of Make America Hang Again nooses and give the LGBT community a discount. Why kill us softly and slowly?

  • S1AMER

    Elections have consequences.

    Trump’s victory means an immediate loss of Justice Department support for us.

    And it also means many, many hostile federal judges who will be around for decades to come.

    Please, everybody, pledge to do your absolute utmost in the future to elect Democrats to every office from the presidency down to the lowliest local position.

    • another_steve

      Jeff Sessions and Mike Pence are among the leading theofascist homophobes of our day.

      And they both have the reins of power today.

      • Nausea

        This is just the beginning, so we have to make sure our energy doesn’t flag while fighting this administration…

        • Lucindarjones

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      • FAEN

        But but Twinks For Trump said Cheeto’s administration was pro LGBT.

        • Romero

          “Twinks for Trump” are just a bunch of sheltered, trashy trust fund white boys who are just doing what mommy and daddy tell them to do. It’s just amazing how many self-hating f*gs have come out of the woodwork in the past several months to kiss Adolf Trump’s fat ass.

          • FAEN

            In NC Gays for Trump were and are headed by a interacial couple from Greensboro. Their ‘rationale’ and hate made my blood boil. If I ever bump into them they’re going to get a piece of my mind. How can a gay couple be so close minded I do not understand.

    • Tomcat

      That is almost impossible in rural America. They have a strong hold on small government.

    • My Congressman had a town hall on Saturday morning. I couldn’t go (dress rehearsal and REALLY needed the money from that gig). He only publicized it on a few far right websites. He really didn’t want anyone who wasn’t going to cheer on his far right agenda showing up. I haven’t heard from anyone who went so far. Many Congressmen aren’t taking meetings or holding events because they are afraid of facing their constituents. We have them on the run. We can replace them in many areas. A high turnout in 2018 could have a huge impact. It’s discouraging especially here in teabagistan but we can do it if everyone stops turning on each other and shows up this time.

    • Ninja0980

      Yup, those who decided to stay home or vote third party… you just doomed many different groups for decades to come.

    • Kate

      “Trump’s victory means an immediate loss of Justice Department support for us.”

      It’s not the Justice Department’s job to tell the states what to do in the first place.

      “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

      This is a battle to be fought in the states, not in the federal government.

      • Beagle

        You’ve obviously never heard of the U.S. Constitution.

    • Dale Snyder

      Nope, I’m done. I live in poverty and my ride to my voting station never showed. I’m 52 years old and I walked the three mile round trip in rain to vote for Mrs. Clinton and I was overruled by rightwinged illiterate Fox News hillbillies. I will never again waste one minute, much less two hours, of the rest of my life that I have to vote.

      • kaydenpat

        I understand. Sadly too many people feel just like you. Shouldn’t be so hard to vote in a democracy.

        • FAEN

          So called Democracy these days.

      • Prixator

        Did you ever care much in the first place?

        I’m 58 and I walk at least 3 miles every day. In the rain sometimes (like today). In the snow, too. And that’s just for exercise. Voting is far more important.

  • Frostbite

    So let’s see, in this state you’ll be able to pee where you want, in that state you won’t, in the other state, well they haven’t decided yet, so take your chances. Boy this is going to be fun!

    • remember the marriage equality fight?

    • clay
      • That is so sad. This country was so fucked up for so long. It still is but we sometimes make progress. Can you imagine that there were emergency rooms that wouldn’t take non-white people even if they were in danger of dying before getting to the “colored” hospital? We have not fixed this. Not enough. And not soon enough.

    • -M-

      It’s not even that simple. For NC’s HB2 you have to take into account whether it’s a state facility or not and what your birth certificate says.

      • Talisman

        Papers, please!

        • grada3784

          So much better in the original German.

  • thom

    I find myself once again saying…
    Fuck all the queer people who voted for Trump
    Fuck all the queer people who voted for Stein
    Fuck everyone who wrote in Chelsea Manning

    • Tomcat

      We would be very weary if we fucked everyone that fucked up.
      Freedoms are not always appreciated properly until they are lost.

      • thom

        I know. And you are right. But it feels good to vent!

        • Tomcat

          Our problem was too many people fell for the slogan,
          What do you have to lose,,, and they just did not realize the correct answer. My pet peeve is Millennial’s because they were too self centered.

      • bobbyjoe

        It’d be a lot easier to excuse them if we hadn’t seen the same damn thing happen back when it was Bush v. Gore. But they have learned nothing– absolutely nothing– from history, and the idea that they could easily be such short-sighted suckers yet again in the future is reason enough to never, ever, ever let them forget what they’ve helped do.

        • And it’s not like no one was saying that last year either. The same idiots that were out stumping for Nader in 00 were out for Stein in 16. Idiots never learn. Oh and fuck Susan Sarandon and no I’m not watching her miniseries no matter how good it is. I just can’t look at her quisling face without screaming.

          • Ninja0980

            Same here.
            I will never, ever watch anything with her in it again.

        • YakHerder

          Many, many more Democrats voted for Bush in ’00 than voted for Nader, so I wouldn’t blame it on him or his voters.

          However, the Green Party has no business running for President of the USA when they hold NO seats in Congress, NO governorships, and NO seats even in a state legislature! You don’t start with President of the USA when you can’t even elect a dog-catcher.

        • Lawerence Collins

          Why didn’t Hillary fight. Jill Stein wanted votes in Michigan recounted. She didn’t have Standing. Hillary did and did nothing.
          Reports show that Hillary would’ve won that state.

      • CanuckDon

        Don’t it always seem to go
        That you don’t know what you’ve got
        Till it’s gone
        They paved paradise
        And put up a parking lot

    • Carl

      All the Steinbots and Bernie busters own this. Remind them every time.

      • Lawerence Collins

        Try actually placing the blame where it belongs. Seeds were sown with Bill Clinton. When he Fcuked over the working class for, big money 💰 💰💰donors. Obama promised hope&change. The working poor, voted for just that. What they got were crumbs. If that. I keep asking your kind. Where do you get your news from. Why won’t anyone answer me?

        • Carl

          It didn’t take long for this idiot to come along.

          • Todd20036

            That’s why I block Bernie bros. traitors. Every last one of them. They helped elect trump. Fucking quislings

          • Ninja0980

            Yup, I will talk to my soon to be divorced Bible Thumper cousin (who has gotten a LOT more humble) before I will talk to my selfish Bernie Or Bust one who still doesn’t get that judges can’t be impeached at a whim.

          • Lawerence Collins

            Those are the real facts. Something real progressives care about!

          • Lawerence Collins

            Can’t stand the truth, I see.
            Very sad. You can’t learn, grow and move on. Until you do..
            do you really want eight years of 🍊Toxic waste?!?

        • David L. Caster

          Let me help.

          After the first 2 years of the Obama administration, the GOP was enabled to shut down just about everything Obama wanted to do to help the working poor, create jobs, improve health care, repatriate dollars from US companies operating in tax havens, close tax loopholes, and many other things. If you are looking for the common bad guy in all of this, all the way back to Clinton, it is the Republicans. Go after them. Always remember and never forget: it is the GOP that has been the worst for America since 1980. Purity tests be damned, if there is a chance that your vote is effectively for a Republican, you are doing the wrong thing!

          • billbear1961

            ^^THIS!!^^

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            Not re tipping, but register to vote, and then vote wisely.

          • Lumpy Gaga

            Should I tip the person who resets the machine and holds back the curtain for me to enter?

            He seems kinda like a doorman for Democracy.

          • LesbianTippingHabits

            Well, tips are good karma. And karma never lies.

            Thanks for the suggestion.

        • HoratioCaine

          I keep asking your kind. go to hell troll.

          • Lawerence Collins

            I’m not the troll.
            If it affects one of us.
            It affects all of us.
            What do you believe in?

          • HoratioCaine

            you’re a troll and evidently a Bernie bot. feel the block shmuck.

          • HoratioCaine

            you’re one of the reasons trump is president.

        • Things were great for workers under Clinton. I have my issues with him as well, but there has never been an easier environment for finding a job or finding a better one than the late 90s. It was Nirvana. I only wish I’d known how quickly that was going to go into the toilet because I’d have made vastly different career choices in 1998-2001.

          • Carl

            You and me both.

        • OrangeJesus

          Your kind? GFY and your little dog too.

          • Gil

            “Your kind?” Hillarybots, perhaps.

          • OrangeJesus

            What’s your kind? Member of the Orange Brigade?

          • Lawerence Collins

            I voted for the TPP, fracking, the death penalty, big, out of control banks, Wall St. more wars, keeping the poor and what’s left of the middle class, down. I voted for Hillary Clinton.
            Stop blaming the people and put the blame with the losing candidate.

        • Paula
          • Lawerence Collins

            Exactly. We all need to fight.
            If it affects one of us!
            It affects all of us!
            That’s what I believe in. What do you believe in?

        • BobSF_94117

          The seeds were sown by the working class people who forgot they were working class, who forgot that the GOP has never done anything for them, who forgot that owners are not on their side, who forgot that businesses are not “family”, and who believed a Hollywood actor was a “great man”.

          • Talisman

            They didn’t forget – they were duped by Faux News.

      • Sam

        No they don’t. I know it’s hard to admit, but those people were never, ever, EVER going to vote for Clinton. The ones to blame are the tremendously gullible Trump Democrats who outnumbered those 3rd party voters, the Clinton campaign staffers who assumed key states were reliably true-blue despite the fact their governments are overrun with Republicans, and the 100 million or so eligible adults nationally who couldn’t even bother to vote.

      • FAEN

        And the dumb asses that voted for Johnson as well.

    • bmoore4026

      I wrote in for Bugs Bunny

      • edrex

        please see Thom above for advising.

        • bmoore4026

          No. He’s angry. Best to leave him alone.

    • another_steve

      Ohmigod… did people actually write in Chelsea Manning?

      The person who has done more than anyone else to set back the trans equality and justice movement?

      • Tiger Quinn

        Wait a minute – the fuck she has. Where are you getting that shit.

        • HoratioCaine

          Bradley Manning used his wanting to be a girlie as justification to steal and distribute government communications. then acted like a complete b*tch after being quite rightfully convicted. so you can shove your self righteous indignation toots. We don’t have to be fans of Miss Thing.

          • Bj Lincoln

            She did NOT! She did not come out as trans until after she was imprisoned.

  • Tomcat

    look at all the crap that was passed before civil rights was finally accepted.
    We are seeing the same type of things right now having to do with the rights of individuals as far as LGBT goes. It is the last flings of a part of history that cannot remain in America. And people, even if you do not believe it, religion was behind MOST of these old traditions being held on to.

  • Mike C

    Well, we’re not going to let them be quiet about that are we?

  • Tomcat

    It will be hard to restore peoples rights back to what religious zealots want as far as marriage contracts go. They will most likely be allowed to hate and bully people again under Trump.

    • Talisman

      Easier than you can imagine, and a step the Christians would not hesitate to take…they *already* believe that two people of the same gender simply cannot be married to one another. And they would gladly enshrine that belief in the Constitution, not just preventing future marriages, but dissolving those that already exist.

      The Republicans only need 2 more states to get the ball rolling, and 6 more to ratify the Constitution. If things go badly for the Democrats in 2018 or 2020, you can kiss marriage equality goodbye for another 50-100 years.

      • Vista-Cruiser

        Marriage equality won’t be the only thing to go. If Republicans are able to amend it, the Constitution we all revere will be replaced by a right-wing wish list.

        • Talisman

          Yep…abortion, and contraception in general, and the 14th amendment…

          Hell, they’d repeal everything back to the Bill of Rights.

          • billbear1961

            Yes, and of course we’ll just accept fascism because they’d have the power to alter documents, to change the Constitution into a Nazi RAG.

            Nothing can legitimize or justify FASCISM in ANY circumstances–EVER. (No, not even an election. Pure majoritarianism is pure EVIL. It is the tyranny of the majority, and a tyrant is a tyrant, whether it has one head or MILLIONS!)

            Fascism is NEVER a legitimate option in a GENUINE democracy.

            And no DECENT human being with any SELF-RESPECT recognizes anyone’s or any group’s “right” to DESTROY a DEMOCRACY, no matter how large or powerful that group may be.

            DEATH is preferable to acquiescence to FASCISM.

            Surrender to fascism is to embrace IGNOMINY.

  • O/T: Government wholly in the service of corporate interests and vice versa is another defining hallmark of fascist regimes.

    https://twitter.com/_cingraham/status/838874217852567552

    • KnownDonorDad

      Do they not realize we’re in the online information age? It’s like catching a college senior plagiarizing from a web site.

      • billbear1961

        They don’t care if or that we know.

        • David L. Caster

          That’s because they are not speaking to us at all, only their fan base. We clearly know better than to fall for Trumpist BS. They know that too, thus we don’t matter to them.

      • edrex

        ratemypresident.com

    • TimCA

      I can name several politicians on the state level here in California who have used ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) policy papers as practically a verbatim template when introducing legislation. Given this is California, those attempts mostly go nowhere.

      • David L. Caster

        Yup, that’s what ALEC does, write prototype legislation that favors their positions. Remember that ALEC was started by a christianist.

      • Ninja0980

        Same here in NY, although given the fact Republicans control our State Senate with the help of a couple of DINOS, we get to see a lot more of this crap being brought or passed in one chamber before our House stops it.

    • BobSF_94117

      I love the idea that they’re promoting a stable regulatory environment as a good thing as the up-end decades of regulation.

  • JaniceInToronto

    Well now, who would have thought…

  • Tiger Quinn

    The ACLU is going to come out of all of this a monster of a powerhouse.

    • David L. Caster

      One can hope.

  • Hank
  • Todd20036

    Ok. Who did Nazi that coming?

    • M Jackson

      That one took me a minute.

    • JWC

      cute No did nazi see that

    • Blake Jordan

      The white faggots for trump?

  • billbear1961

    Look at the face of that evil SHIT.

    It’s only people at the grassroots, with the help of lawyers who believe in equality, who’ll keep working for JUSTICE now.

    EDIT: There IS the new governor, and there are still our allies in the business world.

  • houstonray
  • david fairfield

    And there it is….Hey look over here! lgbt rights will be struck down bit by bit. Rescinding trans rights was first on the list, done. Rescinding the fight against NC hate law, done. HRC needs to be in their faces every minute of every day, but even still we’re going to be beat down by this administration unless they are stopped, NOW!

  • Ninja0980

    For those who say both parties are the same or I’m staying home/voting third party to send a message, just remember that came at the expense of the LGBT community, women, immigrants and so many other different groups, who will be dealing with bigoted judges for decades to come.

  • Brian N.

    The lawsuit only sought to strike down the transgender bathroom provision. It did nothing about the provision which wiped out LGB civil rights protections in employment in multiple cities. It is wrong for trans activists to throw LGB people under the bus by getting theirs and leaving us behind.

    • Maggie 4NoH8

      How you figure?

      • Natty Enquirer

        It’s wrong if they want to stay hitched to the LGBTQQIAXYZ train.

      • Gigi

        Who are the trolls (Brian N. & Natty Enquirer) without links to their profiles?

        • Bj Lincoln

          Just trolls with nothing better to do than hassle us.

    • Bj Lincoln

      Trans people are not throwing the rest of us anywhere nor are they leaving the LGBT train and we will NOT be throwing trans people under the bus either! They are our family and we stick together! Trans folks are a small minority who is very vulnerable to the hate and lies being spread. We must protect them.

    • boring. anti-trans trolls aren’t welcome here, greyface. move along.

  • grada3784

    What took Sessions so long?

    • PeterC

      Careful, Sessions is not done yet.

  • Bj Lincoln

    We should have a day for Trans people ( with security ) go into the bathroom according to there birth. After tossing my hairy son out of several womens rooms, they might get the point. Do it all over the US and really target those states with bills on the table. Do it in every public restroom they can. Court houses and government buildings will be great places to make the point.

  • sorry to say i’m not surprised at all.

    they’re going to try to make us illegal again, folks. don’t be shocked when that starts. Winter is coming.

  • LesbianTippingHabits

    Not re tipping, but I understand that North Carolina’s Democratic [repeat: Democratic] Governor has proposed a way forward:

    http://www.joemygod.com/2017/02/16/north-carolina-dem-gov-roy-cooper-lays-hb2-repeal-plan-op-ed-charlotte-observer/

    It would seem to make lots of sense for North Carolinians supporting equality to support their Democratic (repeat: Democratic) Governor in this. That does not appear to be the case:

    http://equalitync.org/latest/news/cooper_repeal_hb2/

    Frankly, this is unhelpful. Republicans control the Legislature and North Carolina’s Democratic [repeat: Democratic] Governor is trying to help in a far from perfect situation.

    Please don’t make him regret trying to help. Thank you.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Hey Caitlin? Where are you?

  • justme

    the Republican narrative about Democrats has been playing since Reagan..
    With little to no opposition
    We’ve all Seen corruption.
    Felt corruption
    The GOPT is the center and cause…
    America needs to hear about it continuously
    We now have events to show it.. And it’s time to use it..

  • HandsomeMrToad

    RE: “…To Drop Federal Opposition To Anti-LGBT Hate…”

    FORMER COPY-EDITOR says: Wow, a QUADRUPLE NEGATIVE! You don’t see that every day. (“drop”, “opposition”, “anti-“, “hate”.)

  • SFHarry

    Thanks Log Cabin republicans!!!