Department giving officials until Monday to address “the situation”
U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) officials notified Governor Pat McCrory earlier today to officially inform him that House Bill 2 – more commonly referred to as the “Bathroom Bill” – violates the U. S. Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In their notification, the Department made clear that it was giving state officials a stay of execution until Monday to address the situation publicly “by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB2.”
The bill, which McCrory publicly acknowledged was passed in “retaliation” to approved LGBT protections in Charlotte, drew nationwide condemnation as it not only set in place legalized segregation for LGBT members – most notably the clause stipulating that transgender persons use the bathroom assigned to their “biological gender” – but also effectively made it illegal for individual cities and local ordinances to outlaw discrimination within their own jurisdictions.
After several multinational companies came forward threatening to cripple their operational expansions in the state, the Governor signed an Executive Order marginally softening the bill, but many of the key pieces of discriminatory policy were left intact.
Cue the Obama administration putting North Carolina on official notice.
In the letter, the DOJ says that McCrory and the State are “engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees and both, you, in your official capacity, and the State are engaging in a pattern of practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of Title VII rights by transgender employees of public agencies.”
It states further that HB2 violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in education based on sex.
As first reported by the Charlotte Observer, North Carolina stands to lose upwards of $800 million in federal funding if they choose not to comply with the DOJ.
“Access to sex-segregated restrooms and other workplace facilities consistent with gender identity is a term, condition, or privilege of employment. Denying such access to transgender individuals, whose gender identity is different from their gender assigned at birth, while affording it to similarly situated non-transgender employees, violates Title VII.”
This is story is developing and will updated to include the Governor’s response once it is made official.