NC governor: DOJ's condemnation of bathroom law an 'insult'
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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Wednesday said it was "totally irresponsible" of the Department of Justice to invoke the Civil Rights Movement era when talking about the state's controversial bathroom law.

"It's a political statement instead of a legal statement," McCrory said on CNN on Wednesday about Attorney General Loretta Lynch's comments on the law.


"It's an insult toward our state and 10 million people that has no relevance to this issue regarding whether a gender identity individual or a boy could go into a girl's restroom. To correlate that to the Civil Rights marches in the '50s and '60s is totally irresponsible of our chief legal officer of the United States of America." 

He suggested that Congress revisit the 1964 Civil Rights Act, calling the issues at hand "complex."

"It requires sensitive discussion and sensitive debate, which the nation has not had," he said.

The Justice Department on Monday filed a lawsuit against North Carolina over the state's bathroom law, which requires that transgender people use the bathroom corresponding to their biological sex as identified on their birth certificate.

Lynch said while announcing the suit that the action was about "a great deal more than bathrooms."

"It was not so very long ago that states, including North Carolina, had other signs above restrooms, water fountains, and on public accommodations, keeping people out based on a distinction without a difference," Lynch said during the news conference.

Earlier Monday, North Carolina filed a suit against the federal government over the law in response to a Justice Department letter that said the state's law violated the Civil Rights Act. The letter asked the governor to respond by Monday to confirm that the state "will not comply with or implement HB2."

On Wednesday, McCrory again defended the state's law and blamed Democrats for bringing up the issue.

"We didn't think there was a problem at all until the Democrats brought this up in Charlotte, North Carolina," he said. "We didn't need a bathroom law. We never have asked for a bathroom law."

The state law, which also effectively prevents local governments from passing anti-discrimination measures for LGBT people, was a response to such an ordinance in Charlotte that also gave transgender people the right to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

McCrory noted he was "sensitive" to the needs of transgender people, suggesting adding unisex restrooms or showers at universities in the state.

"There's an expectation of privacy for the other girls or other boys in their junior high locker rooms or shower facilities, that the only other people coming into there are people of the same gender, built as the same gender," he said.

"We need to work through these problems and not throw hand grenades at this issue because it's a new, sensitive issue on all sides, for families, for young girls and boys and for the transgender population."