The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory regarding his state’s passage of the controversial bathroom law – HB 2 – in which the DOJ is requiring that the Governor disavow the law on discrimination grounds.
According to the letter, the Governor had three business days to respond. When the Governor had asked for an extension, he was denied by the DOJ, but was informed that he could have an additional week to decide how to respond, as long as he publicly announced that the bill was discriminatory. As of now, he’s not playing their game. He told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace:
“Well, 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 identification or definition of gender identity.”
Governor McCrory noted that he doesn’t have the authority to change the law, even if he wanted to. The state legislature, acting as representatives of the people of North Carolina, passed the law. In addition, he warned that the DOJ’s actions aren’t just about the state of North Carolina. Their mandates in this case are setting a dangerous precedent:
“So now the federal government is going to tell almost every private sector company in the United States who can and who cannot come into their bathrooms, their restrooms, their shower facilities for their employees, and they’re also telling every university in the United States of America. This is not just North Carolina. They are now telling every university that accepts federal funding that boys who may think they’re a girl can go into a girls’ locker room or restroom or shower facility. And that begins, I assume, tomorrow [Monday].”
HB 2 only applies to public gender-specific facilities. Private companies’ restroom policies are not covered by the state’s bathroom law. However, the DOJ’s mandate could now extend even to private companies.