ATLANTA – Georgia has joined 19 other Republican-led states in suing the Biden administration over directives allowing transgender workers and students to use bathrooms and locker rooms and join sports teams matching their gender identity.

Chris Carr

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Tennessee, accuses the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Education of issuing guidance in June that improperly expanded the scope of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year.

This story also appeared in Capitol Beat News Service

“The administration is willfully circumventing the authority of Congress and ignoring the rule of law with this regulatory overreach,” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said Tuesday. “There is an established process to change antidiscrimination law, and federal agencies lack the authority to change the law in this way.”

The Supreme Court decision prohibited employers from firing workers because of their gender identity or sexuality. The ruling had nothing to do with whether employers or schools could maintain sex-separated bathrooms and locker rooms or whether students born male could compete on girls’ sports teams, the plaintiffs claimed.

Several bills prohibiting “biological boys” from playing in school sports against “biological girls” in Georgia didn’t make it through the General Assembly this year amid criticism they discriminated against transgender students. However, the legislation remains alive for consideration during the 2022 session.

The states’ federal lawsuit asks the court to declare the agencies’ guidance invalid and to prohibit its enforcement.

The states participating in the case with Georgia are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia.

This story available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

Dave Williams/Capitol Beat

Dave Williams is bureau chief for Capitol Beat News Service, a service of the Georgia Press Education Foundation.