A Virginia pizza shop captured national attention on May 9 for a sign referring to the debate over the legality of the controversial North Carolina transgender restroom law.
"We have a men's room. We have a ladies room. If this confuses you, we can help!" the Windy City Pizza bathroom sign reads, WTKR reports.
The unidentified restaurant owner of the Virginia Beach pizza place explained the sign was not a reflection of his opinions on the issue. Rather, he said, he posted it because he enjoys hanging up messages that spark conversation.
A day after the media reported on the sign, he took it down.
The sign drew attention the same day the U.S. filed a civil rights lawsuit against the state of North Carolina over discrimination.
In March, North Carolina passed a law that forbids people from using bathrooms that do not reflect their biological sex, directly targeting transgendered people.
The U.S. Department of Justice explains it considers this is a violation of the Civil Rights Act.
The bill has since stirred tremendous controversy, with some likening it to racial segregation.
"It was not so very long ago that states, including North Carolina, had other signs above restrooms, water fountains, and on public accommodations, keeping people out based on a distinction without a difference. We've moved beyond those dark days," U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said.
“[North Carolina has] created state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals who simply seek to engage in the most private of functions in a place of safety and security, a right taken for granted by most of us," she added.
North Carolina's Republican Gov. Pat McCrory disagrees. Whenthe Department of Justice demanded North Carolina repeal the bill, McCrory filed a lawsuit against the U.S. federal government.
He calls the department’s position a "radical reinterpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act."
McCrory argues this "new, complex and emotional issue" is not one of discrimination but of privacy, while adding transgender status has never been a protected class under the Civil Rights Act.
“[The government is trying to people] that men should be allowed to use a women's locker room, restroom or shower facility,” he said.
“The attorney general is using divisive rhetoric to advance the Obama administration's strategy of making laws that bypass the constitutional authority of Congress and our courts,” added McCrory's communications director, Josh Ellis.