The Latest: AG: LGBT law is state-sanctioned discrimination

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Posted: May 09, 2016 4:08 PM
The Latest: AG: LGBT law is state-sanctioned discrimination

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on North Carolina's LGBT law (all times local):

4 p.m.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch says North Carolina's law restricting restroom access for transgender people amounts to "state-sponsored discrimination."

Lynch spoke during a news conference Monday announcing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state and against Gov. Pat McCrory. She says the law only serves to "harm innocent Americans."

The Justice Department lawsuit says the law has caused transgender people to suffer "emotional harm, mental anguish, distress, humiliation, and indignity." It seeks an order that would prevent the law's enforcement.

McCrory has filed his own lawsuit over the law, asking a judge to keep it in place.

The governor says his lawsuit asks a federal court to clarify what the law actually says with billions in federal aid at stake.

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3:45 p.m.

The U.S. Justice Department has sued North Carolina over its law restricting the use of public restrooms by transgender people.

The lawsuit was filed Monday just hours after Gov. Pat McCrory filed his own lawsuit over the law. McCrory wants the sweeping law, which limits protections for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people, kept in place.

McCrory says his lawsuit asks a federal court to clarify what the law actually says with billions in federal aid at stake.

The Justice Department lawsuit seeks a court order declaring that the law's provisions that apply to multiple-occupancy bathrooms or changing facilities "discriminate on the basis of sex."

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2 p.m.

The White House is calling a North Carolina law that limits protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people "mean-spirited" and "inconsistent with the values of fairness and equality and justice."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest restated President Barack Obama's opposition to the law on Monday amid an intensifying showdown between the U.S. Justice Department and the state.

The Justice Department said last week the law violated the civil rights of transgender people. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has filed a lawsuit seeking to keep the law in place.

Earnest says the Justice Department's action was taken "independent of any sort of political interference or direction from the White House."

He said the administration continued to conduct a separate review of whether agencies might cut funding to the state in response to the law.

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1:15 p.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says Congress should "bring clarity" to the nation's anti-discrimination laws.

McCrory made the remarks during a Monday news conference hours after his administration sued the U.S. Justice Department over a state law that restricts the use of public restrooms by transgender people.

The sweeping law also limits protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and has been widely criticized. McCrory says his lawsuit asks a federal court to clarify what the law actually says. The Justice Department had sent letters warning the state that its law violated the civil rights of transgender people.

McCrory called that an attempt by the Obama administration to rewrite federal law.

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10:20 a.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is going to court in a fight for a state law that limits protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

McCrory is leading a lawsuit filed Monday seeking to keep in place the law the U.S. Justice Department said last week violated the civil rights of transgender people.

The Justice Department had set a deadline of Monday for McCrory to report whether he would refuse to enforce the last that took effect in March.

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3:05 a.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory shows no signs of backing down in the face of the federal government's Monday deadline to declare he won't enforce the new state law limiting protections for LGBT people — defiance that could risk funding for the state's university system and lead to a protracted legal battle.

The U.S. Justice Department last week warned the new law violates civil rights protections against sex discrimination at work and in education for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The agency focused particularly on provisions requiring transgender people to use public restrooms matching their biological sex. The department says a lawsuit against the state is possible.

McCrory said Sunday on television that Obama administration officials are acting like bullies, but repeatedly declined to say what his written response would be.