loretta lynch gives brilliant speech defending trans rights

US Attorney General issues a lawsuit and passionate criticism against North Carolina's Bathroom Bill.

by i-D Staff and Jack Sunnucks
12 May 2016, 1:02pm

To those unaware of the Bathroom Bill debate, this is what's happened so far: North Carolina passed a law saying that trans people can't use the bathroom they gender align with. The Department of Justice stepped in, quite rightly, notifying the state that this violates federal civil rights laws, to which North Carolina filed a lawsuit against the agency. This Monday however, the Department countersued, and in announcing this legal action, the US Attorney General Loretta Lynch gave a brilliant and stirring speech, drawing on the legacy of freedom that America represents.

In it, Lynch strikes down every reason the law could be allowed to stand. She gives it historical context next to the racist and discriminatory Jim Crow laws, and the state level bans on same sex unions. She reasons that, as Americans, it is their duty not to live in fear and "summon our national virtues of inclusivity, diversity, compassion, and open-mindedness." She then appeals to North Carolina, her home state, to see that the law, rather than protecting vulnerable people, in fact makes even more vulnerable one of the most at risk minorities in America. To end, she clearly states that the Obama administration is on the side of freedom and equality.

"Let me also speak directly to the transgender community itself. Some of you have lived freely for decades. Others of you are still wondering how you can possibly live the lives you were born to lead. But no matter how isolated or scared you may feel today, the Department of Justice and the entire Obama administration wants you to know that we see you, we stand with you, and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward. Please know that history is on your side. This country was founded on a promise of equal rights for all, and we have always managed to move closer to that promise, little by little, one day at a time. It may not be easy — but we'll get there together."

Here's the speech in full:


Text Jack Sunnucks
Image via YouTube

Transgender rights
the bathroom bill