The Justice Department has now weighed in on a North Carolina law that has been considered the most anti-LGBT law in the United States.
Justice Department officials sent a letter to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Wednesday that said House Bill 2 violated federal civil rights laws, including Title IX, which bars discrimination based on sex, the Associated Press reported.
Critics argued that North Carolina’s controversial law, which was signed into law hours after it was introduced in March, restricted protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The so-called “bathroom bill” prevents local governments from passing laws that protect LGBT individuals by requiring transgender people to use bathrooms that match the gender they were assigned at birth.
The letter said North Carolina was “engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination” against transgender state employees.
The letter also said state officials had until Monday to confirm that “the State will not comply with or implement H.B. 2, and that it has notified employees of the State and public agencies that, consistent with federal law, they are permitted to access bathrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity.”
According to the Charlotte Observer, millions of dollars in federal school funding — reaching $861 million for the current school year — could be at risk should North Carolina officials not comply.
Public outcry soon followed the bill’s passing, with gay rights advocates, businesses and entertainers staging boycotts over the measure.