United States Justice Department Says HB 2 Violates the Civil Rights Act

By Adam Polaski • May 4, 2016 • 5:12 pm

Today, May 4, the U.S. Department of Justice notified North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory that HB 2, the state’s discriminatory anti-LGBT law, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as well as Title IX.

Federal officials have given lawmakers until Monday to confirm “that the State will not comply with or implement HB2,” the Justice Department’s letter to Governor McCrory reads. Should state officials ignore the Justice Department, North Carolina stands to lose $861 million in federal education funding.

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The notification from the Justice Department is the latest blow to the discriminatory law’s legal standing. Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that a Virginia school board’s move to ban a transgender student from using public restrooms that match his gender identity violated Title IX. The ruling is significant because the Fourth Circuit covers North Carolina. The ACLU, Lambda Legal and Equality North Carolina also are challenging the law in court.

Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe said today:

“Actions have consequences, and Governor McCrory and his legislative allies are now paying the price for this anti-transgender law that they so hurriedly enacted. HB 2 is a solution in a search of a problem that simply doesn’t exist, and lawmakers must take immediate action to fully repeal it. The state’s economy and reputation have suffered enough, and now students all across the state stand to lose out on nearly $1 billion in critical funding because of HB 2. The livelihoods of North Carolina’s families are at stake, and there is no excuse for inaction.”

In the Justice Department’s letter to Governor McCrory, Valita Gupta, the principal deputy assistant attorney general, noted:

“…The Department of Justice has determined that, as a result of compliance with and implementation of NC House Bill 2, both you and the state of NC are in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964… HB 2…is facially discriminatory against transgender employees on the basis of sex because it treats transgender employees, whose gender identity does not match their biological sex, as defined by HB2, differently from similarly situated non transgender employees… Based upon the above, we have concluded that in violation of Title VII, the state is engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of Title VII rights by employees of public agencies…”

Awareness of how HB 2 harms not just North Carolina’s economy and reputation, but the state’s transgender community as well, is growing. Earlier this week, Freedom for All Americans partnered with Equality North Carolina and the American Unity Fund in releasing a first-of-its-kind ad that illustrates the negative consequences of HB 2 on transgender North Carolinians. The ad, which has surpassed more than 100,000 views, is available here:

Learn more about LGBT non-discrimination in North Carolina.


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