MANDEL NGAN—AFP/Getty Images
By Melissa Chan
May 10, 2016

More than 37,000 transgender people in North Carolina are affected by the state’s new law that restricts their use of bathrooms, advocates say.

The controversial law, which bars transgender people from using the bathroom of the sex they identify with, impacts roughly 22,200 trans adults and about 15,600 trans teenagers, according to a new analysis by the Williams Institute, which is a think-tank of researchers at UCLA Law who focus on sexual orientation and gender identity law.

That number is compared to the estimated population of about 10 million residents in the state, U.S. Census Bureau numbers show.

The law, known as House Bill 2, has drawn fierce opposition nationwide from the LGBT community and their supporters who say the law is discriminatory. It forced the federal government to step in last week to warn North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to stop implementing the law or risk losing millions of dollars in funding. About $4.8 billion in federal funding to state and local government entities is on the line, according to the Williams Institute.

Still, McCrory was defiant and filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department on Monday in response to the warning. The department fired back by filing a lawsuit of its own, arguing that the legislation violates Title VII, Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in a news conference announcing the suit, called the law a “state-sanctioned discrimination” against transgender people. Many advocates mirrored the sentiment after the fallout.

“Discrimination is discrimination, no matter the number of people affected,” Elizabeth Halloran, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, told TIME on Tuesday. “The governor chose to embrace a law that discriminates against North Carolinians, and he’s the only person who can answer why.”

The governor’s office did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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