Justice Department Announces Lawsuit Against North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory Over Hate Law

The Human Rights Campaign recaps what just happened:

Today, HRC and Equality NC responded to an announcement by Attorney General Loretta Lynch that the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, the state’s Department of Public Safety, and the University of North Carolina and Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina. The U.S. Department of Justice also requested the judge prohibit the state from enforcing HB2 in regards to discriminating against transgender people.

“The U.S. Department of Justice has made clear that Governor McCrory’s HB2 is a discriminatory and dangerous piece of legislation that violates federal civil rights laws,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Rather than working with state lawmakers to fix the mess he’s created, Governor McCrory is instead choosing to waste even more time and millions more of taxpayer dollars trying to defend his indefensible attack on transgender people. We commend Attorney General Lynch and the Justice Department for taking action to enforce the rule of law and protect the civil rights of all North Carolinians.”

“The lawsuit filed by Governor McCrory is another attempt to sidestep the inevitable need for a full repeal of HB2,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro.“North Carolina’s image, economy, and citizens are hurting because of the deeply discriminatory bill. Governor McCrory and the NCGA leadership are risking billions of dollars in federal funding to uphold a law that should have never been passed in the first place. We applaud Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the U.S. Department of Justice for standing up for North Carolinians when its own leadership has failed to do so.”

UPDATE: Lambda Legal and the ACLU react.

“We applaud the Justice Department for filing suit and joining us in saying that neither Governor McCrory nor North Carolina’s legislators can strip equality out of federal law. This law is a targeted and unprecedented attack on the LGBT community, particularly against transgender people.

“The Justice Department has reaffirmed its letter to Governor McCrory and what we put forth in our complaint when we filed our lawsuit in March. The federal government made clear that HB 2’s mandate of discrimination against transgender people violates federal civil rights laws but McCrory and other political leaders in the state have decided to risk federal funding to maintain that discrimination.

“While Governor McCrory has doubled down on discrimination against transgender people in North Carolina, the Department of Justice is living up to its name in seeking to uphold the legal protections for transgender people in the state. But the battle is far from over. We will be fighting in court for our clients until they are treated equal not just in the restrooms but at their jobs and in the community.

“Gov. McCrory is now defying the federal government. He is on the wrong side of history. There are only two ways to reverse this terrible damage: The state should repeal this discriminatory law, or the courts should strike it down.”