Since March, North Carolina has faced boycotts, lost businesses and canceled performances over the state's "bathroom bill." Now, the federal government could pull millions in funding over the law.
The Department of Justice sent North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory a letter Wednesday telling him that HB 2 violates Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. A DOJ spokesperson confirmed the letter's origins and the possibility that, if the governor does not prove he will not enforce the law by the letter's May 9 deadline, the state could lose federal funds.
"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," the spokesperson said.
The DOJ hopes for voluntary compliance, but will seek a court order if needed. According to local reports, North Carolina received $861 million in public school funding during the past school year.
HB2 forbids transgender residents from using public restrooms and changing rooms that fit their gender identity. The DOJ argues that this prohibition violates sex discriminations protections for employees and students provided in Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act.