Local leaders react to Department of Justice’s letter regarding HB2

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Reaction to the Department of Justice’s comments on the House Bill 2 law continues.

Governor Pat McCrory said Wednesday night during the North Carolina Chamber Annual Government Affairs Conference, “Every state will be impacted by this interpretation I might add. By one agency within the Obama Administration, this is one interpretation by one agency.”

He went on to say the Federal Government is overreaching its boundaries.

9 On Your Side reached out to a number of elected leaders including mayors, city councilmen and legislators on McCrory’s response.

“Based upon the justice’s ruling today, apparently now it is also the Federal Government’s decision to determine your restroom locker room and shower policies,” said Governor McCrory about the notice from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The notice gives the state until Monday, May 9, to revise HB2. Part of the letter reads, “HB2, which took effect on March 23, 2016, is facially discriminatory against transgender employees.”

Governor McCrory says the department was overreaching, but experts say the DOJ’s notice was completely legal.

“Their job is to review laws and to make sure that no one is getting discriminated against in the nation and so they’ve done exactly what they’re supposed to do,” said Greta Quinn, Political Science Instructor at Lenoir Community College. She said it’s the U.S. Department of Justice’s responsibility to check law that exhibits any form of discrimination. “So, to say it’s an overreach is a little going too far.”

9 On Your Side called a host of North Carolina elected leaders to see what they think. Some answered the necessary questions, and others didn’t. Those who did answer all agreed with the Governor.

“There’s nothing in the federal policy that says anything about gender identification,” said Republican Dr. Gregory Murphy, of NC District 9.

Over the phone, Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy said in part, “I am also a believer that it is the state that creates our union so therefore I believe in the authority of each state being able to govern its affairs.”

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