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LINCOLN (ChurchMilitant.com) - Ten more states are suing the Obama administration over what many state leaders are decrying as a "gross overreach" of federal authority.
In a suit filed Friday in a Nebraskan federal court, the states lambasted a mandate issued from the Departments of Justice and Education ordering that all public schools permit so-called transgender students to use the bathroom and locker room of their choice.
"A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity," the May 13 letter stated, "or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so."
A statement released from the Nebraska attorney general's office argues the federal order, which alludes to the penalty of a loss of federal funding for the states which do not comply, "supersedes local school districts' authority to address student issues on an individualized, professional and private basis" in addition to ignoring current law and the process by which such laws are amended.
Bill Schuette, attorney general for the state of Michigan, charged the federal government for creating "another ... federal overreach" that ignores the power of the states and Congress.
"This lawsuit is about children and our schools," he stated.
The nine other states joining Nebraska include Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming, bringing the total number of states suing the Obama administration over the transgender bathroom mandate to 23.
The initial surge of lawsuits stems from legal action taken by North Carolina in early May, which counter-sued the Obama administration over the state's House Bill 2 (HB2), which requires self-described transgender individuals to use the public restroom that corresponds with their true gender. The Justice Department specifically cites alleged violations of Title IX, which forbids discrimination based on sex in educational institutions, and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employment discrimination.
"The State," reads a portion of the federal letter threatening legal action, "is engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees and both you [Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina], in your official capacity, and the state are engaging in a pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment" of rights by transgender individuals.
HB2, signed into law on March 25, was drafted in response to a proposed ordinance from the city of Charlotte that would have allowed those with gender dysphoria to use the restroom of their choosing, in addition to complaints received from women who had been abused in public bathrooms. The passage of HB2, approved by the Republican-controlled general assembly, successfully pre-empted the Charlotte ordinance.
In response, the state soon filed a lawsuit against the administration claiming the "blatant and baseless overreach" is merely an "attempt to unilaterally rewrite long-established federal civil rights laws in a manner that is wholly inconsistent with the intent of Congress and disregards decades of statutory interpretation by the courts."
The lawsuit continues:
This is now a national issue that applies to every state and it needs to be resolved at the federal level. They are now telling every government agency and every company that employs more than 15 people that men should be allowed to use a women's locker room, restroom or shower facility.
The Nebraska echoes the language of North Carolina, asserting "[n]either the text nor the legislative history of Title IX supports an interpretation of the term "sex" as meaning anything other than one's sex as determined by anatomy and genetics."
The Catholic Church has clearly maintained its position against the push for gender identity rights, with Pope Benedict XVI declaring in 2012, "The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious."