Justice Dept. says NC 'bathroom bill' violates civil rights

Dive Brief:

  • North Carolina's "bathroom bill" law limiting protections for LGBT people has put the Tarheel State at ground zero for the latest controversy. This week, the U.S. Justice Department stepped into the fray, telling North Carolina that it's law violates federal civil rights protections and can’t be enforced, according to the Associated Press.
  • The DOJ also put the state on notice that it is in danger of being sued and losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding, according to the AP. 
  • The law, which also requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that conform to the sex on their birth certificate, has been broadly condemned by a variety of LGBT-rights groups and big name companies, some of whom have relocated offices or canceled shows in the state.  North Carolina is hardly alone, as several other states and municipalities have proposed similar laws limiting LGBT protections.

Dive Insight:

The Justice Department sent North Carolina's Republican Governor Pat McCrory a letter laying out why federal officials view the state law in violation of federal Civil Rights Act protections barring workplace discrimination based on sex. The letter said provisions of the state law directed at transgender state employees violate their anti-discrimination protections, according to the AP.

The Justice Department also let the 17-campus University of North Carolina system know that the state law violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in education based on sex.

The letter seeks confirmation by Monday, May 9, that “the State will not comply with or implement H.B. 2, and that it has notified employees of the State and public agencies that, consistent with federal law, they are permitted to access bathrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity.”

No response from McCrory, who has constantly defended the law in the past, though he did try to soften his position after the massive blowback from the law's passage.


Filed Under: Legal
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