NC Gov. on DOJ Claim That Bathroom Law Violates Civil Rights Act: Privacy Around the Nation ‘Now in Jeopardy’

By Penny Starr | May 5, 2016 | 3:36pm EDT
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (AP Photo)

( – North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued a statement on Wednesday after receiving a letter from the Department of Justice (DOJ) informing him that HB2, the law he signed requiring state employees to use bathrooms and other public facilities according to their biological sex, violates the Civil Rights Act.

“A claim by the Obama administration charges that one part of House Bill 2, which requires state employees in public government buildings and students in our universities to use a restroom, locker room and shower facility that match their biological sex, is now in violation of federal law,” McCrory said in the statement.

“The Obama administration has not only staked out its position for North Carolina, but for all states, universities and most employers in the U.S.,” he added.

“The right and expectation of privacy in one of the most private areas of our personal lives is now in jeopardy,” McCrory said. “We will be reviewing to determine the next steps.”

“This letter is to inform you that the Department of Justice has determined that, as a result of compliance with and implementation of North Carolina House Bill 2 (“H.B. 2”), both you and the State of North Carolina (the “State”) are in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq. (“Title VII”),” the letter said.

“Specifically, 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 to the full enjoyment of Title VII rights by transgender employees of public agencies,” the letter added.

The Charlotte Observer quoted McCrory on Wednesday as saying the Obama administration action means that not just North Carolina but the entire country will be impacted.

“This is no longer just a N.C. issue,” McCrory said. “This impacts every state, every university and almost every employee in the United States of America.

“All those will have to comply with new definitions of requirements by the federal government regarding restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities in both the private and public sector,” McCrory said in the Observer article.

Some supporters of HB2 have spoken out about the DOJ’s letter, including Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a pro-family and Christian advocacy group.

"The Department of Justice is totally out of control,” Perkins said in an email distributed to the press. “The far-Left bullies at the Department of Justice are threatening action against North Carolina because the state designated restrooms in government buildings for men only and women only.

"We stand with North Carolina and urge its leaders to stand up to this abuse of power,” Perkins said. “If the President won't rein in the Department of Justice, then it's time for Congress to do so.”

The DOJ letter gives the governor until “close of business on May 9, 2016” to inform the department that the state “will remedy these violations of Title VII” and will not “comply with or implement” HB2. sought comment on the DOJ letter from Republican State Rep. Dan Bishop, one of the main sponsors of the bill, but his office did not respond.

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