North Carolina's Lt. Gov. Dan Forest is calling out the Department of Justice for suing the state, calling its lawsuit an "extortionary tool."
In an interview with The Daily Signal, a conservative news site run by the right-wing Heritage Foundation, Forest claims the DOJ is "holding the children of North Carolina hostage" in order to push its "radical leftist agenda" because the U.S. attorney general has said the state may be ineligible for federal funding because House Bill 2, which requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that do not match their gender identity, violates existing civil rights protections against discrimination based on sex in employment and education.
The federal government announced its lawsuit Monday, hours after Gov. Pat McCrory announced his own federal suit against the Department of Justice. The legislation, introduced and signed into law in less than 12 hours on March 23, also rescinds all existing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, prohibits new ones, and bars residents from suing for discrimination in state court.
Forest referenced comments Attorney General Loretta Lynch made Monday during a speech announcing the federal goverment's decision to sue North Carolina over House Bill 2. "To use Jim Crow laws is pretty shameful," said Forest, referring to Lynch's speech, where she compared the anti-LGBT discrimination of HB 2 to Jim Crow laws, which were still in place until the '60s, that discriminated against people on the basis of race.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory called Lynch's Jim Crow statements "an insult" on CNN Wednesday.
Watch Dan Forest's comments below.