North Carolina Lawmakers Will Defy U.S. Justice Department Over Anti-LGBT “Bathroom Law”

Speaker of the House Tim Moore

The Charlotte Observer is reporting that state lawmakers plan to defy the recent notice from the U.S. Department of Justice that the state’s anti-LGBT “bathroom law” – HB2 – violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act:

House Speaker Tim Moore said Thursday that legislators won’t meet the U.S. Department of Justice’s Monday deadline to repeal or stop enforcing House Bill 2.

The department sent state leaders a letter Wednesday saying that the law violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act and Title IX – a finding that could jeopardize billions in federal education funding. Those laws ban discrimination in education based on sex and employment discrimination.

“We will take no action by Monday,” 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 said state leaders are still trying to determine their next steps. “Right now we’re talking with our attorneys to see what our options are,” he said. “We’re going to move at the speed that we’re going to move at to look at what our options are.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest distanced Obama from the order in his press briefing Thursday afternoon. “These kinds of enforcement actions are made independent of any sort of political interference or direction from the White House,” Earnest said. “Those are decisions that are made entirely by attorneys at the Department of Justice.

Stay tuned for more details.