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Pat McCrory goes after transgender protections in Roy Cooper political attack

Pat McCrory transgender

Photo by David T. Foster III, Charlotte Observer.

Pat McCrory is asking Attorney General Roy Cooper to join South Carolina in signing an amicus brief opposing the Obama Administration, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting a transgender student in Virginia in a Fourth Circuit Federal Appeals Court case, G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, over the use of school bathrooms corresponding to the student’s gender identity.

The Obama Administration has also threatened to cut federal funding to a school in Chicago over the same issue. McCrory is asking Attorney General Cooper to join South Carolina in fighting these actions.

McCrory released a statement on his website, which says, in part:

This extreme position directly contradicts the express language of federal law and threatens local control of our schools. It also disregards the safety and privacy concerns of parents and students. The Obama Administration has already informed school authorities in North Carolina and around the country of this directive, and is threatening resistant schools with legal action and loss of federal funding.

This federal overreach is unacceptable and unnecessary. It must be stopped before our state’s schools are impacted. North Carolina schools are already capable of working with students struggling with their gender identity in a compassionate manner to accommodate their needs while preserving the rights of students and parents. A decision favoring the Obama Administration in the Fourth Circuit would be binding precedent on North Carolina federal courts. It would remove local districts’ flexibility and force the federal government’s extreme views on all of our schools.

It goes on to say that South Carolina’s Attorney General has set a deadline to join the brief of November 25, and McCrory is asking Cooper to respond by that date.

This is a portion of the letter McCrory sent to Roy Cooper. You can read the letter in full here.

McCrory also took to social media on Saturday, further pushing his effort to get Cooper to sign the brief.

He expanded on the message on his Facebook page, saying:

I asked Attorney General Roy Cooper to stop the federal government from taking over our schools, and challenge the ACLU and President Obama’s attempt to force local districts to open sex-specific locker rooms and bathrooms to individuals of the opposite biological sex. The Obama Administration has already informed school authorities in North Carolina and around the country of this directive, and is threatening resistant schools with legal action and loss of federal funding. This federal overreach is unacceptable and must be stopped.

That is the edited version, the original had a misspelling of “opposite” which was corrected, and the word “biological” was added. McCrory, who just so happens to be facing a tough reelection campaign against 2016 Democratic challenger Cooper, as the two are dead even in the polls and it looks like McCrory is going to go dirty early on in the race. Time will tell how this strategy plays out for the Republican. It will likely gain him support from the far right side of his party, but may alienate moderates and will continue to make him an unpopular candidate among the left.

UPDATE (Nov. 23, 2015, 1:30 p.m.): Equality NC has responded to the anti-trans comments from the Governor. Executive Director Chris Sgro said in a press release:

This move is transparent and political. The Governor’s language shows a politician pandering to a small minority of primary voters, and not a statesman leading the Old North State. Equality NC and our friends at ACLU will continue to stand up for trans students and applauds the White House’s clear direction that trans students should be able to use the restroom that matches their identity. With youth bullying and suicide rates being a crisis in this nation, picking on kids as a way to win political points is never acceptable. We ask Governor McCrory to reconsider his position and do what is right for students and kids, not what he thinks is right to score rhetorical points.

UPDATE (Nov. 25, 2015, 8:00 P.M.): The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) has now also responded to Governor McCrory’s statement. Acting Executive Director Sarah Preston said in a press release today:

It’s shameful that Gov. McCrory has gone out of his way to launch a mean-spirited political attack on such vulnerable students. Students who are transgender should be treated with respect and compassion – not discriminated against because of who they are. The ACLU stands up for the rights of all students to be free from discrimination, and we urge Gov. McCrory to rethink his misguided political attack on transgender youth.

The release pointed those looking for more information on the case to aclu.org/cases/gg-v-gloucester-county-school-board.

The Roy Cooper campaign has responded as well, stating that they will not be joining the suit.

“Adolescence is hard enough without being bullied by an elected official,” said campaign spokesman Jamal Little. “Next week, who knows who’ll be the target of a governor whose only path to re-election is dividing North Carolina.”

More on McCrory’s LGBT record

McCrory recently appeared onstage at a prayer rally with a homophobic preacher, who laid hands on the Governor and declared that America deserved judgment, in part for “homosexuals praying at the inauguration.”

McCrory vetoed a religious exclusion bill that would have allowed magistrates to opt out of issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples if it violated their religious beliefs. The veto was eventually overridden.

In 2014, he passed over LGBT protections in a new employment executive order.

h/t Matt Comer

Posted by Jeff Taylor / Social Media Editor

Jeff Taylor is a journalist and artist. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inside Lacrosse, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006.@jefftaylorhuman.