Friday, May 20, 2016

Stand with the transgender community

Right-wing laws like North Carolina's HB2 aren't just about bathrooms. They are deliberate and coordinated attacks on transgender people.

Dear MoveOn member,
Right-wing Republican lawmakers keep claiming that laws like North Carolina's HB2—the anti-LGBT law that denies transgender people the right to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender—are simply about privacy and safety in the bathroom.

But these laws are a deliberate and coordinated attack on transgender people.

That's why the U.S. Department of Justice announced a lawsuit against the state of North Carolina. Attorney General Loretta Lynch made clear when she announced the lawsuit two weeks ago that HB2, and laws like it, are in direct violation of the Civil Rights Act.1

Her speech was a major moment in the fight for civil rights for all Americans, and it's important for everyone to hear, in Attorney General Lynch's words, why the U.S. Department of Justice has taken this historic step to protect the rights of transgender Americans.

Will you watch and share this video of Attorney General Lynch announcing the Department of Justice's lawsuit against the state of North Carolina?

Click to watch and share the video now.

By legalizing discrimination, laws like HB2 contribute to the alienation of, violence against, and institutionalized criminalization of transgender people.

Transgender youth are far more likely than their peers to suffer from depression, to be expelled from their communities, and even, tragically, to end their lives. And transgender people of every age risk harassment and assault every time they leave their home or simply use a public bathroom.2 One school board member in North Carolina was even encouraging students to carry pepper spray to use to hurt transgender students in school bathrooms.3

Attorney General Lynch made it clear why this fight is so important and what's at stake. She said: 

"This is not the first time that we have seen discriminatory responses to historic moments of progress for our nation. We saw it in the Jim Crow laws that followed the Emancipation Proclamation. We saw it in fierce and widespread resistance to Brown v. Board of Education.
You've been told that this law protects vulnerable populations from harm—but that just is not the case. Instead, what this law does is inflict further indignity on a population that has already suffered far more than its fair share. This law provides no benefit to society—all it does is harm innocent Americans."4

Click here to watch and share Attorney General Lynch's remarks now.

Since HB2 was passed in North Carolina, the backlash has been furious: corporations have announced plans to leave North Carolina, musicians have canceled concerts and festivals, and protests have erupted across the state.5 The issue of transgender rights and equality have been forced into the public eye and the nation is taking notice.

In the last two weeks, President Obama has directed all public schools to treat transgender students fairly.6 And we let corporations that take a progressive stand on this issue, like Target, know that they have our support. More than 125,000 MoveOn members like you signed a petition started by a teacher and MoveOn member in Washington state standing with Target in support of transgender Americans. Thousands more have sent messages directly to Target executives.7

Right-wing legislators across the country are still pushing bills to deny LGBT people their dignity and civil rights. It's more important than ever to hear and share Attorney General Lynch’s words with others in our community. Will you watch and share her speech now?

Click here to watch and share Attorney General Lynch's remarks now.

Thank you for all you do.

—Corinne, Ann, Robert, Ben O., and the rest of the team


1. "Four Reasons Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s Speech is a Milestone for Transgender Equality," Human Rights Campaign, May 10, 2016

2. "Transgender people face alarmingly high risk of suicide," USA Today, August 16, 2015

3. "N.C. School Board Member Encourages Students to Pepper Spray Trans Classmates," The Advocate, May 11, 2016

4. "Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks at Press Conference Announcing Complaint Against the State of North Carolina to Stop Discrimination Against Transgender Individuals," United States Department of Justice, May 9, 2016

5. "How North Carolina’s bathroom law sparked a business backlash," PBS NewsHour, April 28, 2016

6. "U.S. Directs Public Schools to Allow Transgender Access to Restrooms," New York Times, May 12, 2016

7. "Backlash, praise for Target's position on transgender issue picks up steam," Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 30, 2016

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