Rouzer responds to battle between NC, DOJ over HB2

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — US Rep. David Rouzer (R-7th District) is weighing in on the battle between North Carolina and the US Department of Justice over HB2 and federal funding.

Monday Gov. Pat McCrory announced a federal lawsuit against the DOJ after the agency threatened North Carolina could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding if it did not stop the law requiring transgender people to use the public restroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, announcing a lawsuit against the state, amounts to “state-sponsored discrimination” and is aimed at “a problem that doesn’t exist.”

During his news conference, McCrory called on Congress to clarify federal anti-discrimination laws, so we reached out to Rouzer’s office for comment. Today he issued a statement saying, “The Justice Department’s charge that House Bill 2 is discriminatory is baseless in fact and law.”

“It is an egregious overreach, which is commonplace with this administration,” Rouzer’s statement continued. “It’s through this radical determination that they justify their threat to withhold federal funds, which is nothing more than a bullying tactic. I applaud the state for fighting this overreach.  North Carolina state law allows for the accommodation of transgenders while protecting the privacy of all citizens. ”

Rouzer, though, stopped short of saying he would push for any clarification from Congress.

“Any court that reads the federal law as written and considers the statutory interpretation by previous courts will find the administration’s claims to be unsubstantiated,” he said.

The new state law excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from state anti-discrimination protection and bars local governments from adopting their own anti-bias measures. It has drawn criticism from other governments around the country, entertainers, including many who have cancelled shows in North Carolina, and even President Obama himself, who called for its repeal. Supporters, including McCrory, say it is common-sense privacy protection.

Last month McCrory issued an executive order “clarifying” existing state law and asking the General Assembly to put back an old protection against discrimination.

Opponents of HB2 have called for its repeal. Yesterday Democratic state lawmakers filed their own non-discrimination bill in Raleigh.

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