Gov. Pat McCrory called the U.S. Justice Department's bluff, and the feds were not amused.
McCrory missed today's deadline to respond to the department's mandate that North Carolina announce whether it intended to keep House Bill 2, and thus risk losing millions of dollars in federal funding for violating Title IX and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Instead, he sued the feds. And now the feds have sued North Carolina: McCrory, the Department of Public Safety, and UNC, including its board of governors.
The complaint asks the court to issue a preliminary and permanent injunction to prevent further violations of the law.
"Defendants' compliance with and implementation of HB 2 stigmatizes and singles out transgender employees, results in their isolation and exclusion, and perpetuates a sense that they are not worthy of equal treatment and respect," the court filing reads.
UNC is also a defendant because Margaret Spellings, the system president, issued a memorandum to all chancellors directing them to comply with HB2. Under the law, in public facilities (not private businesses) people must use the bathroom that aligns with the gender on their birth certificate. However, the law established no criminal penalties for violating it.
The full court document quotes State Rep. Dan Bishop, who introduced HB2, as saying that "a small group of far-out progressives should not presume to decide for us all that a cross-dresser's liberty to express his gender nonconformity trumps the right of women and girls to peace of mind."