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North Carolina Gov. Asked Feds for Extension on HB 2 Response

Pat McCrory

With a Monday deadline looming and federal funds on the line, Gov. McCrory said he needs more time to consider how he addresses his state's anti-LGBT legislation.

Gov. Pat McCrory has asked the federal government for an extension of its deadline.

The Department of Justice told the North Carolina leader last week in a letter that North Carolina's anti-LGBT House Bill 2 violates federal law, and the state must stop enforcing it or lose millions of dollars in federal funding.

Vanita Gupta, principal deputy assistant attorney general, gave McCrory until Monday to inform the Justice Department "whether you will remedy these violations of Title VII including by confirming that the state will not comply with or implement HB2."

However, McCrory said he needed more time than three days to respond. In a Sunday interview with Fox News host Chris Wallace, he revealed that he had requested an extension from the federal government. In response, officials offered a week-long deadline "if the governor admits publicly that their language regarding bathrooms does in fact discriminate."

"I'm not going to publicly announce that something discriminates," McCrory said, continuing, "there is no clear definition of gender identity. It is the federal government being a bully."

According to the DOJ letter, HB 2 conflicts with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, both of which ban sex discrimination, which includes discrimination based on gender identity.

HB 2, passed by legislators and signed into law by McCrory on March 23, prohibits cities from enacting or enforcing LGBT-inclusive civil rights ordinances, and bars transgender people from using the restrooms, locker rooms, and other single-sex facilities matching their gender identity, when those are located in government buildings, including public schools.

Wallace questioned McCrory's classification of the federal government's response to HB 2 as "overreach," comparing the debate to bathrooms segregated by race.

"We can definitely define the race of people. It's very hard to define transgender or gender identity," McCrory responded.

Watch the interview below.

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