DOJ targets Arkansas, West Virginia's 'unconstitutional' transgender laws

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The Justice Department is challenging laws on transgender people passed by two states that it argues violate federal law and constitutional protections.

The department filed statements of interest in lawsuits over transgender bans in West Virginia and Arkansas to overturn the laws. West Virginia enacted a law April 28 barring transgender athletes from competing in female sports. Arkansas became the first state on April 6 to block children younger than 18 from undergoing sex reassignment surgery or treatment.

"A state law that limits or denies a particular class of people’s ability to participate in public, federally funded educational programs and activities solely because their gender identity does not match their sex assigned at birth violates both Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause," reads the Justice Department filing.

ARKANSAS LAWMAKERS OVERRIDE GOVERNOR AND ENACT BAN ON SEX-CHANGE SURGERY AND TREATMENT FOR CHILDREN

Both states violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, the Justice Department said.

West Virginia's law additionally violates Title IX, which bars discrimination based on sex in education or other federally funded activities, according to the department.

LGBT groups and local chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union have already challenged the two laws at the state level.

The ACLU's West Virginia chapter filed a lawsuit in May over the state's transgender athlete ban on behalf of an 11-year-old transgender girl who wanted to compete in middle school cross-country. LGBT interest group Lambda Legal also challenged the law.

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In May, the Arkansas chapter of the ACLU also challenged the state's ban on youth transgender healthcare, representing four transgender minors, their families, and two doctors who perform such treatments.

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Tags: News, West Virginia, Arkansas, Transgender, Justice Department, LGBT

Original Author: Mica Soellner

Original Location: DOJ targets Arkansas, West Virginia's 'unconstitutional' transgender laws

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