US Justice Department Challenges North Carolina's Anti-Trans Bathroom LawThe US Principle Deputy Assistant Attorney General has warned that the state’s bathroom laws are in violation of the Civil Rights Act.

The US Justice Department has warned that North Carolina’s law limiting protections for LGBT people violates the US Civil Rights Act and cannot be enforced.

“The state is engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees,” the US Principle Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta wrote in a letter to Governor Pat McCrory on Wednesday.

HB2, better known as the Bathroom Law, removes local anti-discrimination legislation protecting LGBT people and bans transgender people from accessing restrooms that match their gender identity in government buildings and schools.

With this law, North Carolina is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, warns Gupta.

“Access to sex-segregated restrooms and other workplace facilities consistent with gender identity is a term, condition, or privilege of employment,” she wrote. “Denying such access to transgender individuals, whose gender identity is different from the gender assigned at birth, while affording it to similarly situated non-transgender employees, violates Title VII.”

The University of North Carolina also received a letter from the Justice Department regarding Title IX.

Title IX of the Education Act of 197 – which bans sex discrimination – has been determined by the Education Department to protect transgender students’ right to access to the restroom of their gender.

If a court upholds the US attorney general’s position, the state of North Carolina stands to lose $861 million in federal funding for schools.

Gupta has given McCrory until 9 May to bring North Carolina back into compliance. In response, McCrory said the Obama administration has declared war on states’ rights.

“[The Obama administration] has not only staked out its position for North Carolina, but for all states, universities and most employers in the US,” said McCrory. “The right and expectation of privacy in one of the most private areas of our personal lives is now in jeopardy. We will be reviewing to determine the next steps.”

The Justice Department’s action indicates an expansion of the federal government’s efforts to protect LGBT people from discriminatory state laws and comes just days after President Obama indicated he may approve legislation to designate the Stonewall Inn as the first LGBT monument.

Considered the birthplace of the modern LGBT rights movement, New York’s Stonewall Inn has recently been threatened with closure. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat, is urging Obama to commemorate and protect the site through executive authority.

“[It’s] an important reminder of the struggle for equality in our country,” Nadler said.

North Carolina has been the subject of mass boycotts since the passing of HB2 in late March, with a number of companies and celebrities refusing to visit the state until the legislation is repealed. McCrory has also revealed his reelection may be threatened by the backlash.

“Sadly, in our nation, if you have a disagreement and you’re on the wrong side of that disagreement, according to the thought police, you are dispensed of. You’re exiled,” he said during an appearance on a radio show.

If North Carolina does not comply with the Civil Rights Act, Gupta may seek a court order to force compliance.