RALEIGH, N.C. — U.S. Justice Department officials notified Governor Pat McCrory on Wednesday, stating that House Bill 2 violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) says that North Carolina has until Monday to confirm that it will not comply with or implement House Bill 2.
You can see the DOJ’s letter to Pat McCrory here: Civil-Rights-Division-letter-on-HB2
If North Carolina does not comply, the state risks losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal school funding.
A DOJ source told WCCB, “As is typical of our enforcement efforts, the Justice Department hopes that North Carolina will come into voluntary compliance with federal law. Of course, we do have a range of tools available if it does not. It is the Department’s preference to seek voluntary compliance by recipients of federal funds so that they may continue to receive funds or, if necessary, compliance through a court order that allows the same.”
Governor McCrory responded with the following statement:
Leutenant Governor Dan Forest criticized the DOJ for threatening to halt school funding.
“To use our children and their educational futures as pawns to advance an agenda that will ultimately open those same children up to exploitation at the hands of sexual predators is by far, the sickest example of the depths the Obama Administration will stoop to ‘fundamentally transform our nation,” he stated.
Not everyone felt the same way.
“The letter confirms what we’ve already known – that HB2 is deeply discriminatory, violates federal civil rights law, and needs to be repealed as soon as possible,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro.
He continued, “We’ve already lost $500 million in economic impact and now we are violating federal civil rights law and risking Title IX funding. This is a travesty and embarrassment for North Carolina. There is a repeal bill filed in the House, and it should be considered immediately.”
ACS President Caroline Fredrickson also stands in favor of the DOJ.
“We applaud the Justice Department for standing up for all Americans, including the most vulnerable, by saying North Carolina’s HB2 violates the Civil Rights Act,” she said in a statement. “After many equal rights victories, HB2 is nothing more than the latest assault on LGBT rights. The discriminatory law belongs in the dustbin of history.”
North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore said the following in his statement:
“The letters received today serve to give notice that President Obama intends to sue the State of North Carolina unless we yield to his views. They are not court decrees or automatic declarations of law and the issues raised in his letters are far from being decided. President Obama’s interpretation of Title VII and Title IX would radically change all universally accepted protections of privacy and safety that are based on the anatomical differences between the sexes.”
Moore went on to say, “Rather than effectively engage in the legislative process, the Constitutional process by which elected representatives of the people of North Carolina and the United States enact laws, the Obama Administration continues to circumvent the will of the electorate and instead unilaterally exert its extreme agenda on the people directly through executive orders, radical interpretations of well-settled common-sense laws and through the federal court system. We will discuss these issues with the Governor and the Senate and determine next steps.”
The ACLU released a statement on the issue as well. “It is now clearer than ever that this discriminatory law violates civil rights protections and jeopardizes billions of dollars in federal funds for North Carolina,” they said.
“Governor McCrory and the legislators who forced through HB 2 in a single day were warned about these dire consequences, but they ignored the law and the North Carolinians it would harm and passed the bill anyway. The only way to reverse the ongoing damage HB 2 is causing to North Carolina’s people, economy, and reputation is a full repeal.”