Turns out Mississippi won’t join 11 states suing Obama administration for supporting trans rights
Mississippi will not join Texas and ten other states in a lawsuit against President Obama over his administration’s strong stance defending transgender rights, the state’s attorney general has said.
The Obama administration has intervened on LGBT rights this month after a string of laws attempted to roll back LGBT discrimination protections, purportedly to stop trans people from going to the bathroom.
The federal government wrote to every school in the US to advise them that they are obliged not to discriminate against trans people.
However, that hasn’t gone down well with hard-right Republicans – with GOP politicians in Oklahoma attempting to impeach Obama.
But Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was not the only one to file a lawsuit in federal court against the Obama administration.
Officials in eleven states including Texas were included in the complaint filed on Wednesday.
As well as Paxton, officials from Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, Oklahoma, Maine, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia were all named in the complaint.
Despite Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant desperately wanting in on the action, attorney general Jim Hood has put a dampener on that.
In a statement on Thursday, Governor Phil Bryant said he intends to have the state join the lawsuit.
“I intend, as soon as possible, to join the lawsuit against this latest example of federal overreach,” Bryant said.
But later on Thursday, Hood said it was only the attorney general who could represent Mississippi in the lawsuit, and he had reviewed it and decided not to join.
“I suspect transgender people have been using the restrooms of their gender identity for many decades,” Hood said in his statement.
“This activity by a small percentage of people has gone virtually unnoticed by our society for probably a century. Nevertheless, the issue has now been placed before our courts.”
Bryant has signed up to the lawsuit in the name of his office, but not representing the state.
Asked about the row previously, Obama press secretary Josh Earnest mocked the tendency of some Republicans to sexualise the issue.
The US Justice Department sued the state of North Carolina last month, asking a federal court to rule that the state’s anti-trans HB2 law violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The Department said the state should stop enforcing HB2.
The Attorney General Loretta Lynch also threatened to withhold federal funding to the University of North Carolina system, which could be as much as $4.8 billion.
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In response, Governor McCrory filed his own desperate lawsuit against the federal government.
In it, he named Ms Lynch, the head of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, Vanita Gupta and the Justice Department.
“We’re taking the Obama admin to court,” he wrote.
“They’re bypassing Congress, attempting to rewrite law & policies for the whole country, not just NC.
“Our lawsuit seeks to ensure that NC continues to receive federal funding until the courts clarify federal law & resolve this national issue.”