Governor McCrory Sues Department Of Justice Over HB2 Deadline

Governor McCrory Sues Department Of Justice Over HB2 Deadline

10:45am May 09, 2016
WFDD File Photo

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.

Governor Pat McCrory spoke to the press today about his response to the federal government’s request that he stop enforcing House Bill 2.

In a six-minute prepared statement, McCrory said the U.S. is dealing with “a very new, complex and emotional issue: how to balance the expectations of privacy and equality.”

He also said HB2’s bathroom rules were not an agenda issue for the state of North Carolina until Charlotte passed its ordinance allowing transgender people to choose which facility they preferred.

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Justice sent letters to McCrory and other state departments notifying them that HB2 was illegal under several portions of the Civil Rights Act.

While McCrory says he does not agree with the Justice Department’s interpretation of the law, he has asked federal courts to clarify the language. But he also called on the U.S. House and Senate to weigh in.

“Ultimately, I think it’s time for the U.S. Congress to bring clarity to our national anti-discrimination provisions under Title VII and Title IX,” McCrory said.

(Original story continues below:)

North Carolina filed a lawsuit Monday against the federal government in a fight for a state law that limits protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Gov. Pat McCrory's administration filed the lawsuit seeking to keep in place the law the U.S. Justice Department said last week violated the civil rights of transgender people.

The Justice Department had set a deadline of Monday for McCrory to report whether he would refuse to enforce the law that took effect in March.

“The Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set restroom policies for public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina. This is now a national issue that applies to every state and it needs to be resolved at the federal level,” said Governor McCrory in a press release. “They are now telling every government agency and every company that employs more than 15 people that men should be allowed to use a women’s locker room, restroom or shower facility.”

McCrory's defiance could risk funding for the state's university system and lead to a protracted legal battle.

McCrory and other state officials have been under pressure since the U.S. Justice Department warned last week that the law passed in March violates civil rights protections against sex discrimination on the job and in education for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

In letters, federal civil rights enforcement attorneys focused particularly on provisions requiring transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond to their biological sex.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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