Louisiana joins lawsuit against Obama administration over transgender bathrooms

Louisiana joins lawsuit against Obama administration over transgender bathrooms

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry calls President Barack Obama's transgender bathroom policy an overreach of government, as LGBT supporters speak out.

Attorney Ryan Delaney spends his days fighting for the rights of the LGBT community.

"Ten years ago, we would've never thought we'd have same-sex marriage here in Louisiana, and here we are in 2016 and we have marriage equality, and now the next forefront is transgender equality," Delaney said.

Earlier this month, President Obama sent a letter to every state advising them to allow transgender students to use the bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity. While Delaney and others applauded the move, Landry quickly took action against it.

"The president's guidance letter is unconstitutional and is an improper overreach," he said.

Louisiana joined 10 other states filing a lawsuit against the Obama administration.

"This lawsuit is designed, really, to make it more difficult for transgender people," said Marjorie Esman, head of the local chapter of the ACLU.

Landry points to money as one of the reasons for the suit.

"This fiscal cost of implementing the president's order could be to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, so we would basically be paying hundreds of millions of dollars on new toilets instead of new textbooks," he said.

Other states are seeing backlash because of their handling of transgender issues. In North Carolina, several big-name performers canceled concerts over the state's law that requires transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate. Landry said that's not a concern for him.

"The vast majority of Louisianans are more interested in the safety of their children rather than going to a concert," Landry said.

But for people who understand what transgender really means, like Ryan Delaney, he says this is setting the LGBT community back and hurting Louisiana's reputation in the process.

"If the Attorney General would just take a step back and just try to understand what it means to be transgender, and base his decision on that, I think he would come to a different conclusion," Delaney said.

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