Human Rights Campaign is asking the Federal Aviation Administration to consider whether House Bill 2 is causing North Carolina airports to violate grant requirements.
If the FAA joined the U.S. Department of Justice’s position that HB2 violates the Civil Rights Act, the move could jeopardize millions of dollars in federal funding that helps operate and expand the state’s public airports.
“If these airports comply with the discriminatory mandate of HB 2, they will be in direct violation of federal law and therefore these grant requirements,” Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin wrote to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta this month. “We urge you to take steps immediately to hold these public airports accountable and to ensure that state sanctioned – and funded – discrimination does not continue on your watch.”
HB2 requires people visiting government buildings and facilities, including airports, to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate. The Department of Justice argues that the rule constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex.
Human Rights Campaign is a national LGBT advocacy group that’s been one of the strongest opponents of HB2. Gov. Pat McCrory has said the group is “more powerful than the NRA,” and he says it has orchestrated boycotts that have unfairly harmed the state economically.
The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a statement late Tuesday saying it won’t be considering airport funding cuts until a lawsuit between North Carolina officials and the Department of Justice is resolved.
“We have been coordinating with other agencies and with the Department of Justice to consider a range of policy questions raised by the North Carolina law, including the question of funding,” the statement said. “As this process plays out in the courts, we are not taking action to withhold funding.”