NC governor will ‘respect’ federal court ruling on transgender rights

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory makes remarks concerning House Bill 2 while speaking during a government affairs conference in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 4, 2016. A North Carolina law limiting protections to LGBT people violates federal civil rights laws and can't be enforced, the U.S. Justice Department has said.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory makes remarks concerning House Bill 2 while speaking during a government affairs conference in Raleigh, N.C., Wednesday, May 4, 2016. A North Carolina law limiting protections to LGBT people violates federal civil rights laws and can't be enforced, the U.S. Justice Department has said. AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Following yesterday’s ruling by a federal appeals court not to rehear a transgender discrimination case, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has said he will “respect” the decision – even though it could potentially overturn HB2, the state’s discriminatory law he’s been defending.

“As governor, I will uphold my oath of office to respect these court rulings, and make sure these court rulings are abided to because I’m sworn to oath to do just that, and I have a tradition of doing just that,” McCrory told reporters. “It is my understanding that this ruling will most likely be immediately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court,” he continued, adding that he will get an evaluation from his lawyers in the meantime on how the ruling affects North Carolina law. “I mean, this is a major, major change in social norms.”

After the court ruled in mid-April that a Virginia school board couldn’t require a transgender student to use different facilities than cisgender pupils, the board asked the full court to rehear the case. The court’s decision not to rehash the case sets it on a quick path to the Supreme Court.

“While I could call for a poll of the court in an effort to require counsel to reargue their positions before an en banc court, the momentous nature of the issue deserves an open road to the Supreme Court to seek the Court’s controlling construction of Title IX for national application,” Judge Paul Niemeyer, the lone dissenter from the original opinion, wrote in the decision. Neimeyer also disagreed with the decision not to rehear the case.

The Gloucester County School Board has not decided whether to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

The case parallels North Carolina’s new law that requires transgender people to use the restroom consistent with their biological sex instead of their gender identity. McCrory has defended the blatantly discriminatory law to the utmost even in the face of withering condemnation by activists, corporations, civil rights organizations and entertainers who’ve started canceling performances in the state. Backlash to the law has cost the state millions of dollars.

Watch McCrory’s press conference below.

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