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N.C. Will Miss Deadline To Respond To Justice Department About LGBT Law

Demonstrators against House Bill 2 protest outside the Governor's Mansion in downtown Raleigh, N.C., on March 24. Among other restrictions, the law says transgender people have to use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological sex rather than their gender identity.

A day after the Justice Department said a North Carolina law violates the Civil Rights Act, the state House speaker says lawmakers will not meet the DOJ's deadline to respond.

House Bill 2, also known as HB2, blocks anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, as The Two-Way has reported. While it has sweeping implications, the measure has been called the "bathroom bill" for one passage in particular, NPR's Camila Domonoske noted in March:

"The law opens by requiring all government-controlled facilities — including schools and universities — to assign all multiple-occupancy bathrooms and locker rooms to a single sex and prevent anyone who doesn't match that biological sex from using the facility."

In its letter on Wednesday, the Justice Department calls out the bathroom regulation specifically, member station WFAE reported, saying it violates federal law relating to sex discrimination in employment and education. The DOJ says that transgender people should be allowed to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

"It's not completely clear how broad the letter's attack on the law is," the station adds. "Again, it directly tells the state not to implement H.B.2."

House Speaker Tim Moore called Monday's deadline to act "unreasonable." Moore said lawmakers were consulting attorneys and that "we're going to move at the speed that we're going to move at to look at what our options are."

State lawmakers "will take no action by Monday," he added. "That deadline will come and go."

(North Carolina's News & Observer has a video of Moore speaking with reporters.)

Being in violation of federal law puts some funding for the state at risk, member station WUNC's Jeff Tiberii tells our Newscast Desk.

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