North Carolina's leaders don't need the weekend to decide whether to jeopardize hundreds of millions in federal school funding and government contracts. House Speaker Tim Moore said in an interview that the state legislature will not meet a Justice Department Monday deadline to amend or refuse to enforce HB2. The law restricts access to restrooms and changing rooms for transgender residents by requiring each individual use the facility matching the biological sex.
The Justice Department determined the law violates protections against sex discrimination provided by the Civil Rights Act.
"We will take no action by Monday," Moore said. "That deadline will come and go. The legislative process does not work where a response can be given in just a few days. We're going to move at the speed that we're going to move at."
When North Carolina passed HB2 in March, the legislature called a special session to hear the law. In less than a day, the House and Senate voted on the law and Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law.
Apparently, the Tar Heel State is not in the same hurry this time.
McCrory has said he and the state's attorneys are still considering how to respond to the Justice Department. However, the governor does plan to respond by the deadline.
In an interview before the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, he showed clear displeasure at the attention the law has brought.
"I don't think the government should be in the bathroom business," he said. "This was snuck in through a regulatory agency through the Justice Department."
Again, let's remember that HB2 is preemptive legislation in response to a Charlotte ordinance allowing transgender residents to use facilities matching their gender identity. That means the law basically says the state, not local municipalities, is the only authority to set bathroom policies.
Sounds like the good politicians of Raleigh need this weekend--a little brunch couldn't hurt--so they can get their particular brand of hypocrisy back on the right track.
Watch Rep. Tim Moore's comments below.