Friday, May 13, 2016

"European Union Joins the Backlash Over Transgender Rights in U.S. States"

Along with various businesses, athletes, and musicians, the European Union has decided to speak out against laws in "North Carolina, Mississippi, and another in Tennessee that allows counselors to reject patients" go against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights signed by members of the United Nations, including the United States. The law also prohibits individuals from using the restroom for the gender they identify as. The E.U. stated that “cultural, traditional or religious values cannot be invoked to justify any form of discrimination, including discrimination against LGBTI persons. These laws should be reconsidered as soon as possible,” and, while the E.U. itself cannot change the laws of these states, the E.U. recognizes that at least this statement will add another, perhaps stronger, voice in the ongoing debate. The U.S. Justice Department recognizes that North Carolina's bill violates federal law. North Carolina retaliated by "suing the the federal government for 'radical reinterpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.'” The Justice Department has since filed a suit of their own in opposition. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has remained stubborn throughout the situation and refuses to go back on his decision to pass the bill. There is reason to suspect that the statement issued by the E.U. will only harden McCrory's resolve. 

Meredith Teuscher

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