Will the FAA clip North Carolina’s financial wings over HB2?

Raleigh-Durham International Airport

Raleigh-Durham International Airport Dawn Ennis

Attention, passengers bound for North Carolina: the Human Rights Campaign is now boarding, with a new connection between crucial federal dollars that fund the airports, and the state’s discriminatory anti-LGBT law known as House Bill 2.

The Charlotte Observer is reporting HRC President Chad Griffin wrote a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration last month, claiming H.B. 2’s “discriminatory mandate” that limits the rights of transgender people are a “direct violation” of grant requirements worth millions of dollars. That money helps the state operate and expand its airports, including the major hubs of Charlotte Douglas International and Raleigh-Durham International Airports.

“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.”

H.B. 2 says anyone using a bathroom in a government building or facility, including the airports, must use one that matches the gender on their birth certificate. The Department of Justice is suing North Carolina, claiming the law constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex under Title VII.

The FAA’s parent agency, the Department of Transportation, issued a statement Tuesday saying it won’t even consider cutting federal funding until that lawsuit and one filed by North Carolina are resolved, according to the Observer.

“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,” officials said in the statement. “As this process plays out in the courts, we are not taking action to withhold funding.”

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