North Carolina has been at the center of controversy regarding transgendered bathrooms -- especially the recently imposed federal guidelines for local public schools to have transgender-friendly bathrooms. As CNN reported, these guidelines on the transgendered were released jointly by the departments of Education and Justice.
"The letter does not carry the force of law but the message was clear," according to CNN. "Fall in line or face loss of federal funding."
North Carolina Joined By Other States
But now, ABC News is reporting that officials from seven other states states have expressed their support for North Carolina on transgendered bathrooms in the public schools.
Those states, West Virginia, Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Maine, and North Carolina, signed on to a legal brief asking a federal appeals court to re-hear a case on transgender bathrooms.
Other states have sided with North Carolina as well. For instance, Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson released a tweet where he recommended that schools in his state disregard the new federal guidelines.
Kentucky governor Matt Bevan posted a statement on Facebook opposing them as well, stating, "Under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the federal government has no authority to interfere in local school districts' bathroom policies."
The Alabama Media Group reported that Alabama attorney general Luther Strange issued a statement opposing the guidelines as well.
"School bathroom use is an issue that should be decided by parents, teachers, and principals — not federal bureaucrats," he said.
Other state governments disagree. For instance, The Worcester Telegram reported that Massachusetts is in the process of enacting a law that "would let transgender people use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity."
How The Controversy Began In North Carolina
The history of how North Carolina -- followed by the federal government and the other states mentioned above -- got to this point was documented by WLOS, a North Carolina news station based in Asheville.
On February 22, the city of Charlotte passed an ordinance that allowed people to use the restroom of their choice.
On March 23, the North Carolina state legislature passed House Bill 2 (HB 2), which mandates that people use bathrooms according to the gender on their birth certificate in public buildings. Before the month was over, the ACLU filed suit against North Carolina.
On May 4, Governor McGrory received a letter from the federal government declaring that the law violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act, and demanded that North Carolina back down, giving them until May 9 to respond. On May 5, CNN reported that North Carolina will meet the deadline.
On May 9, NBC News reported that the federal government is suing North Carolina, claiming that the law "stigmatizes and singles out transgender employees, results in their isolation and exclusion, and perpetuates a sense that they are not worthy of equal treatment and respect."
McGrory responded with a Tweet that accused the federal government of "bypassing Congress" and attempting to rewrite law & policies for the whole country, not just NC."
On May 14, the federal government released their federal guidelines, which, while they cannot force states to comply, they do put the federal funding which they receive for educational purposes at risk.
In the meantime, several companies and celebrities have condemned the law, including singer Bruce Springsteen. In a statement, he declared that he would not perform in North Carolina because of HB2, which he said "dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use."
On the other side, conservative groups have accused the federal government of overreach. For instance, National Review stated, "The executive branch has gone rogue by amending federal law through unconstitutional action," and accused the Obama administration of "sheer bullying."
What do you think? Does the federal government have the authority to impose these federal guidelines? And, was North Carolina right to pass HB2?
[Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images]