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Federal government won’t hold up funds over NC bathroom law fight

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration made clear Thursday it won’t withhold money for North Carolina while a legal fight plays out over the state’s law on bathroom use by transgender people.

The Justice Department sued North Carolina over the state’s bathroom law on Monday alleging the law violates the Civil Rights Act. The law says transgender people must use public bathrooms, showers and changing rooms that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate.

On a separate track, another review involving multiple agencies is taking place to determine whether federal money should be withheld to comply with a provision of the 1964 civil rights law.

PBS NewsHour’s John Yang covered the North Carolina measure restricting protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people on March 24, 2016.

“The administration will not take action to withhold funding while this enforcement process is playing out in the courts,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told journalists during the daily press briefing.

President Barack Obama has said he believes the law is “wrong and should be overturned.”

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has argued that the state law is a “commonsense privacy policy” and that the Justice Department’s position is “baseless and blatant overreach.” His administration also filed a lawsuit Monday against the federal government.

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