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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina law limiting protections to LGBT people violates federal civil rights laws and can’t be enforced, the U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday, putting the state on notice that it is in danger of being sued and losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.

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 gay-rights groups, businesses and entertainers, some of whom have relocated offices or canceled shows in the state. Several other states have proposed similar laws limiting LGBT protections in recent months.

In a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory, the Justice Department said 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.

“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’s spokesmen did not respond to email and text messages Wednesday. In the past the governor, who signed the bill into law in March, has defended it and said he didn’t think it would have any financial impact, either on the economy in general or on federal school funding in particular.

But shortly after it was passed, PayPal reversed plans to open a 400-employee operation center in Charlotte, Deutsche Bank froze expansion plans near Raleigh and convention officials reported some meetings were avoiding the state. Nearly 200 corporate leaders from around the country, including Charlotte-based Bank of America, have urged the law’s repeal, arguing it’s bad for business because it makes it more difficult to recruit talented employees.

House Speaker Tim Moore, who helped pass the law known as House Bill 2, said he would speak with McCrory and Senate leader Phil Berger about the state’s legal options. Moore told reporters the letter was an attempt by President Barack Obama’s administration to “continue its radical left agenda” in his final months in office.

“This is a gross overreach by the Obama Justice Department that deserves to be struck down in federal court,” Berger said in a news release.

The Justice Department also said in its letter that it has notified the 17-campus University of North Carolina system that the state law 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.

The letter effectively serves as a warning to the state to proceed at its own peril or risk being sued. Civil-rights groups and several individuals sued in North Carolina federal court in late March seeking to overturn the law.

McCrory and GOP legislators “were warned about these dire consequences, but they ignored the law and the North Carolinians it would harm and passed the bill anyway,” said a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, which helped filed the lawsuit. “The only way to reverse the ongoing damage H.B. 2 is causing to North Carolina’s people, economy, and reputation is a full repeal.”

It has not been uncommon during the administration of President Barack Obama for the Justice Department to weigh in on hot-button civil rights issues. In March, the department sharply discouraged state court administrators from jailing defendants who can’t pay court fines for petty offenses. The letter to North Carolina doesn’t have the force of law, but it puts the state on notice that its actions are being watched and run afoul of federal civil rights laws.

The letter seeks confirmation by Monday 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.”

The government could file a lawsuit to protect state employees from discrimination, the letter said.

The Justice Department’s intervention could affect similar laws passed in other states.

Mississippi’s House Bill 1523, which becomes law July 1, says government and business workers can deny services to people by citing their own religious beliefs that marriage should only be between a man and a woman and that a person’s gender is set at birth and is unchangeable.

The day after Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill, Democratic U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, asking her to block what he called the “overreaching, unconstitutional, and blatantly discriminatory piece of legislation.” Thompson told The Associated Press in a text message Wednesday that he had heard about the Justice Department’s letter to North Carolina.

“I would expect a similar letter to be sent to Mississippi in the near future,” Thompson said. “The circumstances in both states are closely aligned. Discrimination in the name of religion is illegal.”

Officials from Bryant’s office and the Mississippi attorney general’s office said they had not received a letter from the Justice Department by Wednesday.

“Mississippi’s law prevents state agencies and political subdivisions from punishing employers that opt to have gender-specific standards” for employees’ dress or restroom use, Chandler said. “This law does not establish or mandate a specific policy for restroom facilities.”

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8 thoughts on “North Carolina Stands To Lose Millions In Fed Dollars Due To LGBT Law

  1. October 1 on said:

    I agree, I too do not want to use a restroom where a man dressed as a woman can use the same facilities. Play with the uniform you were issued, if not then don’t think everyone will fall in line with your life choices.

  2. specialt757 on said:

    Another recent story in the news pertained to a pastor who also holds a PhD in some type of medical service field (but not medical doctor) in GA who had a contingent offer of employment, was later denied the position because of a sermon he did a couple of years ago pertaining to his critical views on same-sex marriage. After requesting, reviewing, and scrutinizing his sermon line by line, the employment offer was rescinded. There was nothing in his employment history suggesting any discrimination on ANYONE ever, period. He had all the necessary credentials to perform and was more than qualified to do the job. I can understand a little more about why this law may be necessary. Now he is suing the state of GA, I hope he wins.

  3. specialt757 on said:

    A store in my area has taken out the men and women restrooms and have replaced them with a unisex or one for all. Not only have I refused to use this cockamamie restroom, I also stop spending my money in there all together. I knew this was coming, but I will damn if I take a small girl child into a restroom that men can walk in anytime they want. Yes the world has gone mad. And that bruce/caitlin fool dresses as a woman but still has a penis to screw women with but calls himself a gay woman. What in thee hell is going on here? Confusion or lots of money? Somebody had to pay this clown big dollars to be this stupid but on top of that MADE THE WHOLE COUNTRY ACCEPT HIS BULLSHIT, GTFOH. Money talks is right.

  4. Let me get this straight. A man feels discriminated against because he’s told he needs to use the men’s room. A woman feels discriminated against because she’s required to use the ladies room. Did I get that right? I could understand if they were not allowed to use ANY restroom and was required to use an outhouse. What in the Caitlin Jenner hell is wrong with people? If I stuck a horn to my forehead, stuck a tail on my ass and changed my name to Sparkle, could I sue Ringling Brothers for employment discrimination for not hiring me to perform in the circus? As long as I identify as a unicorn, I should be able to use the same stall as the the other horses right? I understand that money talks, but people, people, people. We will soon see the consequences of letting the lunatics run the asylum if we don’t step up and stop being bullied. Ridiculousness.

  5. hoodtechie on said:

    We have truly passed the line on low morality in god’s eyes. If you are born a man or woman and you have the tools of a man or woman you should be directed to use the bathrooms as designated. When you allow freaks who say they of the opposite sex but still retain the organs they were born with to use any bathroom you should use the designated bathrooms, period no exception. All of this over a few sick freaks trying to get people to accept their immoral lifestyle will surely be punished by the almighty. I just hope no one is hurt by one of these freaks trying to use opposite bathrooms for their pleasure.

  6. Linda on said:

    Good-that’s the only way some folks understand the true affects of DISCRIMINATION!!!!

    When tourists and music artists refuse to go to NC due to this bogus bathroom mess-maybe these
    narrow minded politicians and Bible thumpers will change their way of thinking.

    In addition, the Justice Department has filed charges of this being a Civil Rights violation.

    • hoodtechie on said:

      You can’t be stupid as you sound. How the hell do you get civil rights and the rights of sick freaks mix in together? Civil rights were for people discriminated against because of their color, something they have no control of. These freaks want everyone to make accommodations for their immoral behavior

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