McCrory says federal warning on law ‘overreach’

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Justice Department’s letter stating that Wednesday a North Carolina law that limits protections to LGBT people violates federal civil rights laws (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says the U.S. Justice Department is displaying “overreach” by warning of legal action and the risk of losing federal funds unless a new state law aimed at transgender people is scrapped.

McCrory said Wednesday that the DOJ seems to be breaking new ground in claiming the North Carolina law violates Civil Rights Act protections against discrimination in education and the workplace.

The law requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with the sex on their birth certificate. The Justice Department says that’s against the federal law.

McCrory says the Obama administration’s warning means the issue is no longer confined to North Carolina and could affect other states.

6:30 p.m.

The president of the University of North Carolina system says the system takes seriously a determination by the U.S. Justice Department that a North Carolina law limiting protections for LGBT people violates federal nondiscrimination law.

UNC President Margaret Spellings said in a statement Wednesday that UNC will confer with the governor’s office, legislative leaders and system attorneys about how to respond.

The Justice Department’s letter says that by abiding by the law known as HB2, UNC is violating Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Violence Against Women Act.

The letter notes that even though Spellings wrote on April 13th that UNC has no way to enforce HB2, the system is sending a message that transgender people may not use facilities that correspond with their gender identity.

Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB2 into law in March. The law limits protections for LGBT people, including by requiring that they use restrooms that correspond to the sex that’s listed on their birth certificate.


6:20 p.m.

Gay-rights and civil liberties groups are applauding a Justice Department letter to Gov. Pat McCrory stating that a North Carolina law limiting protections to LGBT people violates federal civil rights laws. They say the letter confirms their views that the law must be repealed.

Human Rights Campaign, Equality North Carolina, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union all spoke out on the letter, sent to McCrory on Wednesday. Some of those groups and several individuals already have sued in federal court to repeal House Bill 2. Like the Justice Department’s letter, the lawsuit says the measure puts the state in danger of losing federal school funding.

Legislation has been filed at the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal the law, but Republican leaders have expressed no interest in considering those bills.


5:45 p.m.

A Republican leader in the North Carolina legislature says the U.S. Justice Department’s contention that a new state law limiting LGBT anti-discrimination protections violates federal law is designed to push President Barack Obama administration’s “radical left agenda.”

House Speaker Tim Moore spoke Wednesday to reporters after the department sent a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed House Bill 2 into law in March.

Moore says based on the Justice Department’s arguments, there can be no facilities that differentiate on the basis of sex.

Sen. Dan Blue is a Democratic legislative leader who opposes the law. Blue urged McCrory and other Republicans to “heed the warnings of the federal government” and stop implementing the law or risk losing federal funds.

McCrory’s office didn’t immediately respond to the letter. He was scheduled to speak Wednesday evening in Raleigh at a conference hosted by the state’s chamber of commerce.


4:20 p.m.The U.S. Justice Department says a North Carolina law that limits protections to LGBT people violates federal civil rights laws.

The Obama Administration agency on Wednesday put North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on notice that that state officials must confirm by Monday that they will not comply with or implement the law called House Bill 2.

A letter from the Justice Department obtained by The Associated Press said the 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.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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