Justice Department Tells North Carolina To Abandon Its Anti-LGBT Bathroom Bill — Or Else

SOURCEThink Progress

The U.S. Department of Justice has informed Gov. Pat McCrory (R) that North Carolina’s anti-transgender law, HB2, violates the federal Civil Rights Act. He has until Monday to provide assurances “that the State will not comply with or implement HB2.”

The letter sent to McCrory Wednesday explains that HB2, which among other things bans the use of restrooms by transgender people in accordance with their gender identities in all public schools and state buildings, violates both Title VII and Title IX. They protect against discrimination on the basis of sex in employment and education, respectively.

“Access to sex-segregated restrooms and other workplace facilities consistent with gender identity is a term, condition or privilege of employment,” the letter asserts. “Denying such access to transgender individuals, whose gender identity is different from the gender assigned at birth, while affording it to similarly situated non-transgender employees, violates Title VII.”

The letter also explains that because of the similar Title IX violations, North Carolina is at risk of losing its $861 million in federal funding for its schools.

If McCrory does not provide confirmation that HB2 will not be enforced, the Department of Justice could then begin taking actions against the state to overturn it. The Department of Education could follow suit by exercising its leverage over the state’s funding.

As of Tuesday, McCrory was still claiming that the law was not discriminatory. “This had to do with privacy,” he reiterated.


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Zack Ford is the editor of ThinkProgress LGBT at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, hailing from the small town of Newport, PA. Prior to joining ThinkProgress, Zack blogged for two years at ZackFordBlogs.com with occasional cross-posts at Pam’s House Blend. He also co-hosts a popular LGBT-issues podcast called Queer and Queerer with activist and performance artist Peterson Toscano. A graduate of Ithaca College (B.M. Music Education) and Iowa State University (M.Ed. Higher Education), Zack is an accomplished pianist with a passion for social justice education. Follow him on Twitter at @ZackFord.