Republican Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina sued the Obama administration and the Justice Department over the controversial bathroom law in the state.
“The Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set restroom policies for public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina. This is now a national issue that applies to every state and it needs to be resolved at the federal level,” McCrory said in a statement, NPR reported.
The law, HB2, requires transgender individuals at state facilities, including schools, to use the restroom that corresponds with the sex listed on their birth certificate rather than the one they identify with.
“North Carolina does not treat transgender employees differently from non-transgender employees,” the lawsuit stated. “All state employees are required to use the bathroom and changing facilities assigned to persons of their same biological sex, regardless of gender identity, or transgendered status."
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As a result of the controversial law, millions of dollars in revenue have been lost in North Carolina due to businesses and events pulling out of the state. Notable acts of protest that resulted in lost revenue include canceled concerts from major acts including Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam.
The Justice Department said the law violates the Civil Rights Act as well as Title IX and set a deadline for North Carolina to decide on enacting it. The state had until May 9 to reply to the DOJ.
“I’m not going to publicly announce that something discriminates, which is agreeing with their letter, because we’re really talking about a letter in which they’re trying to define gender identity, and there is no clear definition of gender identity,” McCrory said on Fox News, The New York Times reported. “It’s the federal government being a bully.”
McCrory’s position on the bill has garnered criticism from Democrats in the state, including current state attorney general and candidate for governor, Roy Cooper.
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“Governor McCrory signed HB2 into law in the dark of night after passing it in just 12 hours, and now complains when he’s given five days to defend it,” Cooper’s spokesman, Ford Porter, said in a statement. “The governor needs to undo this law now and stop playing politics with our economy.”