North Carolina officials are brushing off threats by the Department of Justice to withold billions in federal education funding over the discriminatory House Bill 2, saying they're not making changes to the law before the Monday deadline imposed by the department.
The department announced this week that the state's anti-LGBT law — which banned all LGBT-specific nondiscrimination ordinances and mandated which public facilities transgender people can use — conflicted with federal statutes that protect against sex discrimination in employment and public education. The federal agency gave state officials until Monday to redress discriminatory aspects of HB 2, such as forcing transgender students and public employees and to use restrooms and locker rooms that conflict with their gender identity.
Republican House Speaker Tim Moore (pictured), a proud proponent of HB 2, was happy to publicly announce he's defying the federal deadline.
"We will take no action by Monday," Moore said Thursday, according to Raleigh paper The News & Observer. "That deadline will come and go. We don’t ever want to lose any money, but we’re not going to get bullied by the Obama administration to take action prior to Monday’s date. That’s not how this works."
Moore admitted state officials are talking with their attorneys, but said they're moving "at the speed that we're going to move at." While the House speaker claims they need time to deal with the Justice Department's demands on HB 2, state officials managed to introduce, debate, pass, and sign the legislation in 12 hours.
Conservative religious opponents of LGBT rights jumped on the deadline, with the Christian Action League declaring it a mandate from "King Obama."