Photo: AP

In what shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone with sense or compassion, North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill” HB2 violates federal law, according to the Justice Department. A letter sent to North Carolina Governor Pat MrCrory on Wednesday from department officials says that HB2 violates the Civil Rights Act, reports The Charlotte Observer. McCrory has until Monday to address the violation “by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB2.”

In the letter, Vanita Gupta, principal deputy assistant attorney general, writes:

Access to sex-segregated restrooms and other workplace facilities consistent with gender identity is a term, condition or privilege of employment. 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 [the Civil Rights Act’s] Title VII …

HB facially discriminatory against transgender employees on the basis of sex because it treats transgender employees, whose gender identity does not match their biological sex, as defined by HB2, differently from similarly situated non transgender employees…

North Carolina could lose millions in federal school funding if it does not comply with the Justice Department.

In related news, the city council of Oxford, Alabama, voted today to overturn a public ordinance it passed last week requiring people to use the gender-specific bathroom that coincides with the sex printed on their birth certificates.

In a statement emailed to media, Chinyere Ezie, staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center said: “The Oxford City Council did the right thing by recalling its discriminatory ordinance. We are pleased the council members came to the conclusion that nobody should be criminalized simply for using the restroom.”

Sometimes, at the end of the storm, there is a rainbow.