Just days after Mississippi passed what’s been called “the worst and most sweeping anti-LGBT legislation in the United States, North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT bill may end up costing the state Federal Funding. The anti-LGBT bill, officially called the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act,” was signed into law last Wednesday, reports My Fox 8, after being approved by the North Carolina State Senate. It would require that all individuals in the state use the public bathroom that matches their “birth gender.” The new North Carolina anti-LGBT bill also prevents cities from passing new anti-discrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender people.
Not surprisingly, there has been a huge public backlash ver the new North Carolina legislation, which has been dubbed “anti-LGBT” by the American Civil Liberties Union, LGBT rights groups, businesses, and individuals alike. Television and movie studios and major corporations alike, more than 100 in all, have already boycotted North Carolina in response to the bill.
Now the North Carolina anti-LGBT bill, signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory, could be costing the state more than business and credibility among liberals and LGBT rights supporters. As Fortune reports, North Carolina’s anti-LGBT legislation could be on its way to costing the state federal funding as well.
Federal officials are reportedly considering whether the new North Carolina legislation, which restricts legal protection and rights for the LGBT community, might render North Carolina ineligible for an array of federal aid funds. Those funds, if cut, would come from a variety of programs, including education, housing, and highways.
On Friday, federal education, transportation, housing and urban development officials announced that they will be reviewing the new North Carolina anti-LGBT law to determine whether or not it will result in federal funding cuts to the state.
The Obama administration has publicly criticized the new North Carolina law, but has declined to specifically comment on how North Carolina might be financially penalized for the anti-LGBT legislation.
Governor McCrory had previously promised North Carolina residents that the controversial new law would not compromise federal education dollars; if it does, it could open the door to get the anti-LGBT bill repealed.
As The New York Times reports, a loss of federal funds could send North Carolina into a serious budget crisis, ultimately jeopardizing multiple services that are “central to daily life.” However, despite the fact that the White House has criticized the newly passed North Carolina anti-LGBT law, experts believe that the odds of federal funds being cut are fairly slim, at least in the short term. However, even if the administration doesn’t implement financial consequences immediately, the review in and of itself puts North Carolina on notice, and the door would still be open to cut funding in the future.
The new anti-LGBT legislation has become something of a litmus test for the Obama administration; an administration that has publicly and repeatedly declared the fight for LGBT rights to be “a continuation of the civil rights era.” The new North Carolina law and the firestorm of protests and challenges surrounding it are effectively forcing the current administration to demonstrate how aggressively it’s willing to fight and stand behind its promises to the LGBT community and its supporters.
The North Carolina anti-LGBT bill effectively created an anti-discrimination policy that applies to the entire state. However, that policy did not include provisions or protections based on gender identity or sexual orientation, and it bans local governments from enacting anti-discrimination policies of their own that do protect the LGBT community. As previously mentioned, the new North Carolina anti-LGBT law also prevents transgender individuals from using public restrooms that don’t coincide with the gender listed on their birth certificates.
It would also force transgender students to use school bathrooms that match their birth gender, even if they are transitioning or living life as an alternate gender. The North Carolina attorney general has called the new anti-LGBT bill a “national embarrassment.”
[Image Courtesy Of Alex Wong/Getty Images]