Loretta Lynch listens during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee January 28, 2015 in Washington, DC. Loretta Lynch, a prosecutor with the US Attorney Eastern District of New York, has been nominated to serve as US Attorney General. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Lynch condemned the controversial bill and likened its civil rights segregation laws. 

Rachaell Davis
May, 10, 2016

The Department of Justice is taking federal action against North Carolina's controversial "bathroom" law.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced on Monday night that the DOJ would be filling a civil rights lawsuit against North Carolina to stop the implementation of the bill, which bans people from using bathrooms that do not reflect their biological sex.

In a lengthy address from the DOJ press room, Lynch condemned the bill and likened it to that of previous segregation laws prohibiting African-Americans from entering certain public establishments because of their race.

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"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. We've moved beyond those dark days," she said. A North Carolina native herself, Lynch says the DOJ lawsuit against the state is in response to governor Pat McCroy attempting to move forward with implementing legislation that is in "direct opposition to federal laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity." 

Since the announcement of the bill, several prominent musicians have cancelled scheduled concerts in North Carolina including Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas and Pearl Jam. Financial giants Deutsche Bank and Paypal have also cancelled plans to expand to the state, according to CNN.

As part of the suit, the DOJ is threatening to significantly reduce federal funding to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and the University Of North Carolina should the state choose not to comply and continue efforts to implement the bathroom bill.

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