What in the World is Going on in North Carolina? The Latest Developments in the Tar Heel State
There’s been a lot of news coming out of North Carolina over the past few weeks about HB2, Gov. Pat McCrory’s discriminatory anti-LGBT law, and Monday was no different.
- •There is a reason HB2 continues to make headlines. The legislation forces transgender students in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity, putting 4.5 billion dollars in federal education funding alone at risk.HB2 also compels the same type of discrimination against transgender people to take place in publicly-owned buildings, including in public universities, convention centers, and airports. HB2 has eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents such protections from being passed by cities in the future. The New York Times editorial board even called North Carolina a “pioneer in bigotry.”
- •Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) determined that North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 violates federal civil rights law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.The DOJ warned North Carolina officials that they had until Monday to stop complying with the anti-transgender law, or risk millions in federal funding and, potentially, a federal lawsuit.
- •But when Monday rolled around, Governor McCrory doubled down on discrimination, suing to defend HB2 in court.His costly and reckless lawsuit against the DOJ is just the latest in his desperate attempt to defend HB2, its heinous provisions, and the state’s reputation.
- •Hours later, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the U.S. DOJ has filed a lawsuit against Governor McCrory, the state’s Department of Public Safety and the University of North Carolina and its Board of Governors, declaring HB2 “impermissibly discriminatory.”The DOJ also asked the judge to prohibit the state from enforcing HB2’s anti-transgender provisions.
- •Attorney General Lynch’s historic response to McCrory and HB2 was direct, unequivocal and moving.“This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we, as a people and as a country, have enacted to protect them – indeed, to protect all of us,” she said. “And it’s about the founding ideals that have led this country – haltingly but inexorably – in the direction of fairness, inclusion and equality for all Americans.”