In Victory For Activists, Justice Department Warns That The 'Bathroom Bill' Violates Federal Law

The warning might be the final blow to North Carolina's discriminatory law.

First, it was local North Carolina businesses protesting the discriminatory "bathroom bill." Then it was Google, Apple, eBay, Starbucks and a whole host of others. Now it's the federal government's turn.

On Wednesday, the Justice Department sent a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory warning him that failure to change the controversial law would result in the loss of millions of dollars of federal funding, according to The New York Times. The letter claims that the measure violated federal law — specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which forbids discrimination against any person on the basis of sex.

The Justice Department's warning is just the latest potential financial blow to North Carolina. More than 100 companies have lobbied against McCrory and HB2 since its passage.

According to The Charlotte Observer, the department gave state officials until Monday to confirm "that the State will not comply with or implement HB2."

Republican House Speaker Tim Moore rebuked the letter, calling the move an overreach by the federal government. 

"It looks an awful lot like politics to me," Moore told reporters. "I guess President Obama, in his final months in office, has decided to take up this ultra-liberal agenda."

Others see the department's move as a clear victory.

"The letter confirms what we've already known – that HB2 is deeply discriminatory, violates federal civil rights law, and needs to be repealed as soon as possible," Rep. Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, told The Charlotte Observer.