McCrory Files Lawsuit Against Department of Justice Over HB2 Law, ACLU Responds

Published Monday, May 9, 2016 at 11:07 am

Governor Pat McCrory has filed a declaratory judgment action asking the federal courts to clarify federal law. This action is a result of the Obama administration’s interpretation of federal law.

Gov. McCrory

Gov. McCrory

“The Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set restroom policies for public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina. This is now a national issue that applies to every state and it needs to be resolved at the federal level,” said Governor McCrory. “They are now telling every government agency and every company that employs more than 15 people that men should be allowed to use a women’s locker room, restroom or shower facility.”

In his filing, Governor McCrory cited the fact that he has directed state agencies to make a reasonable accommodation of a single occupancy restroom. The state also allows private companies to set their own policies for bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities.

On May 4, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to Governor McCrory, Secretary of Public Safety Frank Perry and UNC System President Margaret Spellings that alleged violations of federal law. On Friday, the McCrory administration requested additional time to respond. However, DOJ officials refused to grant that request unless the state agreed to unrealistic terms.

“I’m taking this initiative to ensure that North Carolina continues to receive federal funding until the courts resolve this issue,” said Governor McCrory.

Governor McCrory will provide an additional statement to the media at 1:00 p.m. today.

*Press release by McCrory’s office

ACLU and Lambda Legal Statement on North Carolina’s Lawsuit Against Federal Government

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory today filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice that asks a federal court to determine that House Bill 2, the discriminatory law that removes local legal protections for LGBT people and prohibits transgender people from using public facilities that correspond to their gender identity, does not violate civil rights laws.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice notified Gov. Pat McCrory that the restroom provisions in HB 2 have placed the state in violation of Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act, Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act.

The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal – who are challenging House Bill 2 in federal court on behalf of six LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina – released the following statement:

“While transgender people in North Carolina remain in the perilous position of being forced to avoid public restrooms or risk violation of state law, Governor McCrory has doubled down on discrimination against them. The federal government made clear that HB 2’s mandate of discrimination against transgender people violates federal civil rights laws but McCrory and other political leaders in the state have decided to risk federal funding to maintain that discrimination. Transgender people work for the state of North Carolina, attend school in North Carolina, and are a part of every community across the state. It is unconscionable that the government is placing a target on their backs to advance this discriminatory political agenda.  Lawsuits are normally filed to stop discrimination—not to continue it.”

On April 20, 2016, Joaquín Carcaño, a plaintiff in the ACLU and Lambda Legal case, filed a charge alleging violations of Title VII with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

*Release from ACLU

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