RALEIGH, NC (AP) - Governor Pat McCrory is responding to the claims by the U.S. Justice Department that North Carolina's new law called HB2 discriminates against LGBT people and violates federal civil rights laws.
The letter from Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, put Gov. McCrory on notice that that state officials must confirm by Monday that they will not comply with or implement the law called House Bill 2.
A letter from the Justice Department obtained by The Associated Press said the law violates Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in education based on sex. That could lead to North Carolina losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal school funding.
Margaret Spellings, president of the UNC School System, said they will be conferring with the Governor's Office, legislative leaders, and counsel about possible next steps and will respond to the Justice Department by Monday's deadline.
"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," Speaker of the House Tim Moore said in a statement. "[His] 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."
Governor Pat McCrory signed HB2 into law on March 23 after it passed both the NC House and Senate during a one-day special session. The law's primary aim was to overturn portions of a non-discrimination ordinance passed in Charlotte in February.
McCrory signed an executive order less than three weeks later walking back portions of HB2 in response to intense backlash over the law.
Critics of HB2 applauded the Justice Department's action.
Rep. Susi Hamilton, D-New Hanover County, released the following statement:
Hamilton was among four legislators who filed a bill last month to fully repeal HB2.
Attorney General Roy Cooper offered the following statement in response to the Justice Department's letter:
The ACLU, who is challenging HB2 in federal court, said, "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."
To read the letter, click here.