RALEIGH -- The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday that a North Carolina law limiting protections to LGBT people violates federal civil rights laws and can't be enforced.
The Justice Department's intervention puts the state in danger of losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal school funding.
In a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory, the department put the state on notice that federal officials view the state law as violating federal Civil Rights Act protections barring workplace discrimination based on sex. Provisions of the state law directed at transgender state employees violate their anti-discrimination protections, the letter said.
Read the entire letter here
"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 rights, the letter said.
McCrory has defended the state law, which limits legal protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It also requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that conform to the sex on their birth certificate.
Read more about HB2 here
The Justice Department's letter said the law also violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in education based on sex. That could lead to North Carolina losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal school funding.
A Justice Department Official released this statement to ABC11:
As is typical of our enforcement efforts, the Justice Department hopes that North Carolina will come into voluntary compliance with federal law. Of course, we do have a range of tools available if it does not. It is the Department's preference to seek voluntary compliance by recipients of federal funds so that they may continue to receive funds or, if necessary, compliance through a court order that allows the same.
Attorney General Roy Cooper released the following statement:
Enough is enough. It's time for the Governor to put our schools and economy first and work to repeal this devastating law.
US government: North Carolina LGBT law violates civil rights