CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV/AP) - North Carolina's governor Pat McCrory says a federal appeals court ruling overturning a Virginia school district policy on restroom use by a transgender student "puts a whole new dynamic" on a state law he signed addressing bathroom use and limiting LGBT discrimination protections.
Gov. Pat McCrory spoke to reporters Tuesday just after a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined the Gloucester County School Board policy requiring students to use public restrooms corresponding with their biological gender is discriminatory.
The North Carolina legislature approved legislation similar to the policy for schools, public universities and government buildings. Fourth Circuit rulings also apply to North Carolina.
WEB EXTRA: Read the ruling here
McCrory anticipates the Virginia case will be further appealed, but says he'll implement whatever the outcome is from the court rulings. He says the question will be whether North Carolina will have to comply with the policy during the appeal.
"My first reaction is that I very strongly disagree with both President Obama and, frankly, Attorney General Roy Cooper's objection to force our high schools to allow a boy into a woman, or girl's, locker room facility. I think that's bad precedent and I don't think it's the traditional way we do things," McCrory said to a group of reporters Tuesday. "The way I think we should have done them is to allow the high schools to make the appropriate arrangements for those students who have unique circumstances. But this is the federal government, very similar to the Charlotte government, forcing something - brand new standards that we've never seen before."
The appeals court's ruling establishes legal precedent in the five states in the 4th Circuit, including North Carolina, which faces a lawsuit challenging a new state law requiring transgender public school students to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate.
The sweeping law, which also barred cities from passing anti-discrimination ordinances like one recently passed in Charlotte, has prompted a national backlash.
Businesses and politicians have announced boycotts of North Carolina, and legal challenges ensure that the wedge issue will dominate Republican Gov. Pat McCrory's re-election campaign.
Other states in the 4th Circuit are Maryland, West Virginia and South Carolina.
Gloucester High School student Gavin Grimm was born female but identifies as male. He was allowed to use the boys' restrooms at the school for several weeks in 2014. After complaints, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to use public restrooms corresponding with their biological gender.
REACTION TO THE COURT RULING
"This ruling is huge. It blows a huge hole in HB2. They could subject us to $4.5 billion in withheld federal funding. For some perspective, that's all the money we spend in our university system, our community college system, all the money that we get in from the lottery, all the money that we get in for teachers' assistants that we pay for them. All put together and then some. It's an enormous amount of money for our state. If this ruling stands, HB2 must be repealed. This is a level of economic pain and pain for our students that not even the staunchest supporters of HB2 are going to be able to withstand."
- Senator Jeff Jackson
"People need to wake up: Roy Cooper, Barack Obama and two unelected federal judges are on the verge of completing their radical social reengineering of our society by forcing middle school-aged girls to share school locker rooms with boys. House Bill 2 was our effort to stop this insanity, and I hope this proves the bathroom safety bill has nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with protecting women's privacy and keeping men out of girls' bathrooms."
- Senate leader Phil Berger