N.C. AG: LGBT law is state-sanctioned discrimination

Attorney General Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 7, 2015, before the Senate subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies hearing to examine the proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2016 for the Justice Department. Lynch said she’ll decide soon whether the Justice Department will undertake a civil rights investigation into the Baltimore police department. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Attorney General Loretta Lynch says North Carolina’s law restricting restroom access for transgender people amounts to “state-sponsored discrimination.”

Lynch spoke during a news conference Monday announcing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state and against Gov. Pat McCrory. She says the law only serves to “harm innocent Americans.”

The Justice Department lawsuit says the law has caused transgender people to suffer “emotional harm, mental anguish, distress, humiliation, and indignity.” It seeks an order that would prevent the law’s enforcement.

McCrory has filed his own lawsuit over the law, asking a judge to keep it in place.

The governor says his lawsuit asks a federal court to clarify what the law actually says with billions in federal aid at stake.

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