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Obama Administration Overreach Highlights Virginia AG Herring’s Inaction

For Immediate Release – May 6, 2016

Hamilton, VA – On Wednesday, the Obama administration sent a letter threatening North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory with a lawsuit against him and the state of North Carolina unless he refuses to do his sworn duty to uphold and execute the laws of his state. In the letter, Vanita Gupta, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, cites a federal court panel opinion that is currently under appeal here in Virginia, to claim that North Carolina’s recently passed HB2 violates federal law. The Obama administration asserts that federal laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination on the basis of “sex” also include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

Also Wednesday, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed suit in federal court against the DOJ and the Department of Education over what ADF alleges to be a flawed interpretation of federal law. ADF Legal Counsel Kellie Fiedorek said, “North Carolina’s bathroom privacy law, HB2, fully complies with federal law. It’s absurd to assert, as the Department of Justice does, that by placing the word ‘sex’ in federal nondiscrimination laws, Congress intended to force states to open their restrooms to people of the opposite biological sex. Governor McCrory and the state of North Carolina are fulfilling their duty to protect the privacy rights of their citizens. The DOJ should stop bullying North Carolina with falsehoods about what federal law requires.”

Delegate Dave LaRock reacted to these actions by saying, “Last September 21, I requested Virginia’s Attorney General, Mark Herring, to issue an Official Advisory Opinion

‘…whether the term "sex" as used in § 2.2-3901 and other various discrimination provisions in the Virginia Code include gender identity or sexual orientation?  If the answer to this question is in the affirmative, I also request an official advisory opinion as to how the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" would be defined for the purposes of the application of Virginia's various laws prohibiting sex discrimination?...’

“For seven months, Herring has ignored my request. Numerous bills related to this issue were introduced in the 2016 session of the General Assembly without the benefit of legal clarification from the AG. I have still not received a response, forcing me to file suit asking a court to compel AG Herring to do his job. While the Obama administration is threatening elected officials based on politically-motivated flawed legal interpretation, Virginia’s AG is refusing to say what our laws mean. Herring needs to do his job, and quit playing politics with the law.”

By next Wednesday, May 11th, Herring is required to file a demurrer or an answer under oath.

More information on the lawsuit is available here.

Paid for and Authorized by Dave LaRock for Virginia
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