Republican leaders in North Carolina responded defiantly Thursday to the Department of Justice’s warning that the state’s recently passed “bathroom law,” which limits bathroom access for transgender people, violates the Civil Rights Act and Title IX. The DOJ issued an ultimatum to North Carolina lawmakers earlier this week, giving them until Monday to respond “by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB2” or potentially set itself on a course that could cost it billions in federal education funding.
“We will take no action by Monday,” North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters Thursday. “That deadline will come and go. We don’t ever want to lose any money, but we’re not going to get bullied by the Obama administration to take action prior to Monday’s date. That’s not how this works.” Moore did go on to indicate the state legislature may back down on the bill after facing withering criticism nationally and from corporate America threatening to cut ties with the state. “The legislative process doesn’t work where a response can be given by just a few days,” Moore said, “so we’re going to move at the speed that we’re going to move at to look at what our options are at this point.”
“The North Carolina law, known as HB2, also bars cities and other local governments in the state from establishing their own antidiscrimination ordinances,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “Republican legislators passed the law and [the governor] signed it in a one-day emergency session in March to head off a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender with which they identify.”