The battle against North Carolina’s anti LGBT, anti-trans, HB2 has been a rollercoaster. The cost to the state of North Carolina has been very high indeed, with numerous high profile businesses and performers taking their money and fans elsewhere.
Now the US Justice Department itself has weighed in, and has notified N.C Governor Pat McCrory that HB2 is in violation of federal law.
US Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta wrote to the governor in a letter, saying: “The state is engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees.”
They now have a very short time limit, until May 9, to “not comply with or implement HB2”.
McCrory has already issued a response to the statement from the Justice Department, saying: “A claim by the Obama administration charges that one part of House Bill 2, which requires state employees in public government buildings and students in our universities to use a restroom, locker room and shower facility that match their biological sex, is now in violation of federal law.”
“The Obama administration has not only staked out its position for North Carolina, but for all states, universities and most employers in the US.The right and expectation of privacy in one of the most private areas of our personal lives is now in jeopardy. We will be reviewing to determine the next steps.”
For those of you wondering, the US Justice Department said that HB2 violates Title VII of the US Civil Rights Act, Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act, specifically.
There was also joint statement from The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal, who are actually challenging HB2 in court on behalf of six North Carolina residents.
They said that the ruling shows that “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.”
“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.”
McCrory can dress this up as the “Obama administration” trying to suppress him as much as he likes, but I doubt he will have much luck challenging the US Justice Department. We shall see, though, McCrory has shown that he doesn’t give up without a fight.