Notable figures react to DOJ's warning letter on HB2

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Thursday, May 5, 2016
Roy Cooper
Roy Cooper

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday that a North Carolina law limiting protections to LGBT people violates federal civil rights laws and can't be enforced, and notable figures across the country are reacting.

Gov. Pat McCrory

"A claim by the Obama administration charges that one part of House Bill 2, which requires state employees in public government buildings and students in our universities to use a restroom, locker room and shower facility that match their biological sex, is now in violation of federal law. The Obama administration has not only staked out its position for North Carolina, but for all states, universities and most employers in the U.S.

"The right and expectation of privacy in one of the most private areas of our personal lives is now in jeopardy. We will be reviewing to determine the next steps."

Attorney General Roy Cooper

"Enough is enough. It's time for the Governor to put our schools and economy first and work to repeal this devastating law."

Justice Department Official

"As is typical of our enforcement efforts, the Justice Department hopes that North Carolina will come into voluntary compliance with federal law. Of course, we do have a range of tools available if it does not. It is the Department's preference to seek voluntary compliance by recipients of federal funds so that they may continue to receive funds or, if necessary, compliance through a court order that allows the same."

American Civil Liberties Union of N.C.

"It is now clearer than ever that this discriminatory law violates civil rights protections and jeopardizes billions of dollars in federal funds for North Carolina. Governor McCrory and the legislators who forced through HB 2 in a single day were warned about these dire consequences, but they ignored the law and the North Carolinians it would harm and passed the bill anyway. The only way to reverse the ongoing damage HB 2 is causing to North Carolina's people, economy, and reputation is a full repeal."

Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Kellie Fiedorek

"North Carolina's bathroom privacy law, HB2, fully complies with federal law. It's absurd to assert, as the Department of Justice does, that by placing the word 'sex' in federal nondiscrimination laws, Congress intended to force states to open their restrooms to people of the opposite biological sex. Governor McCrory and the state of North Carolina are fulfilling their duty to protect the privacy rights of their citizens. The DOJ should stop bullying North Carolina with falsehoods about what federal law requires."

N.C. Speaker of the House Tim Moore

"The letters received today serve to give notice that President Obama intends to sue the State of North Carolina unless we yield to his views. They are not court decrees or automatic declarations of law and the issues raised in his letters are far from being decided. President Obama's interpretation of Title VII and Title IX would radically change all universally accepted protections of privacy and safety that are based on the anatomical differences between the sexes.

"Rather than effectively engage in the legislative process, the Constitutional process by which elected representatives of the people of North Carolina and the United States enact laws, the Obama Administration continues to circumvent the will of the electorate and instead unilaterally exert its extreme agenda on the people directly through executive orders, radical interpretations of well-settled common-sense laws and through the federal court system. We will discuss these issues with the Governor and the Senate and determine next steps."

American Constitution Society for Law and Policy

"We applaud the Justice Department for standing up for all Americans, including the most vulnerable, by saying North Carolina's HB2 violates the Civil Rights Act. After many equal rights victories, HB2 is nothing more than the latest assault on LGBT rights. The discriminatory law belongs in the dustbin of history."

North Carolina Democratic Party

"Pat McCrory's discrimination law is now on the verge of costing North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars in federal education funding, in addition to the thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars our state has already lost. It is time for McCrory to repeal HB2."

Senate Leader Phil Berger

"This is a gross overreach by the Obama Justice Department that deserves to be struck down in federal court, and I cannot say it any better than Fourth Circuit Judge Paul Niemeyer did recently:

"'This unprecedented holding overrules custom, culture, and the very demands inherent in human nature for privacy and safety, which the separation of such facilities is designed to protect. More particularly, it also misconstrues the clear language of Title IX and its regulations. And finally, it reaches an unworkable and illogical result.'"

UNC President Margaret Spellings

"We were notified this afternoon that the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has determined the UNC system is in violation of federal nondiscrimination law as it relates to the NC Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, commonly known as HB2. We take this determination seriously and will be conferring with the Governor's Office, legislative leaders, and counsel about next steps and will respond to the Department by its May 9 deadline."

NC Values Coalition

"North Carolina's bathroom privacy law is in full compliance with federal law. No federal law - including Title VII and Title IX - requires states or schools to allow men in the women's restrooms or women in the men's restrooms. The DOJ should be ashamed of itself for bullying North Carolinians, compromising the privacy and safety of our citizens, and spreading lies about what the clear language of Title IX and Title VII state. While the Obama Administration may try to impose its agenda by attempting to redefine what "sex" means under Title VII and Title IX, that is something only Congress can alter. We commend Governor McCrory and our elected representatives for their commitment to North Carolinians' right to privacy and their resilience against the continued bullying tactics from the media, from the HRC, and now the DOJ, that seeks to force our little girls to undress in front of men."

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