North Carolina Republican lawmakers are vowing to defy the U.S. Department of Justice over the federal agency’s claim that the state’s controversial bathroom law violates federal civil rights acts, CBS News is reporting.
This week, the Justice Department told North Carolina lawmakers that the Tar Heel State’s controversial House Bill 2, which requires individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds to the biological sex listed on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity, and which has derisively earned the nickname “the bathroom bill,” violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. Title IX prohibits workplace and education discrimination based on sex, and the law has been interpreted by the feds to extend to transgender individuals.
The federal government has given North Carolina until Monday to nullify the law, or else.
What that “or else” means will likely translate to hundreds of millions of dollars of federal education money, which North Carolina could desperately use. The loss of federal funding could have a potentially devastating effect on North Carolina’s university system, to say nothing of the loss of federal funds earmarked for the state’s public schools.
In a letter to North Carolina, Justice Department Civil Rights Division leader Vanita Gupta called out Governor Pat McCrory for violating the Civil Rights Act.
“The State is 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 or practice of resistance [of their civil rights].”
Religious discrimination against one student harms all of us: Vanita Gupta – Headline… https://t.co/3bnpxniqu1 pic.twitter.com/6EcPpwO45B
— TASAD (@TASADOrg) March 20, 2016
North Carolina’s Republican lawmakers, however, are refusing to back down.
House Speaker Tim Moore, speaking to reporters, accused the Obama administration of trying to push a “radical leftist agenda” onto North Carolina during the final months of his administration.
“Basic concepts – common sense about privacy and expectations of privacy – are getting thrown out the window by what the Obama administration is trying to do in this.”
— LGBT-PActivist (@jfulton15747) March 25, 2016
North Carolina passed the controversial “bathroom bill” on March 23, largely in response to a city ordinance in Charlotte that would have allowed transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity and would have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in public accommodations, passenger vehicle for hire, and city contractors. House Bill 2 not only negated Charlotte’s ordinance, it prohibits other North Carolina cities from enacting similar ordinances.
The controversial law was widely denounced almost before the ink was dry, according to a May 4 CBS News report.
Joaquin Carcano, a transgender man who’s suing over the law, said that it essentially forces LGBTQ-friendly businesses in the state to discriminate against transgender people.
“HB2 compounds the discrimination and marginalization of the transgender community, who already have to fight every day for their survival. Our privacy and safety matter too. Our right to feel safe and protected in this world does not infringe on anyone else’s right to the same.”
Conservative lawmakers, in North Carolina and elsewhere, insist that bills requiring individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender assigned at birth are necessary to protect people — children in particular — from perverts and sexual predators. Even former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz has weighed in on the issue, according to this Inquisitr report.
“Grown adult men — strangers — should not be alone in a bathroom with little girls. And that’s not conservative. That’s not Republican or Democrat. That’s basic common sense.”
Do you think North Carolina should defy the federal government over its bathroom bill?
[Image via Shutterstock/Semmick Photo]