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N.C. Governor: Congress Needs to Define Sex, 'Clarify' Sexual Orientation

North Carolina’s governor said the Justice Department lawsuit over his state’s bathroom bill is “like Big Brother is all of a sudden descended upon our state in a very coordinated political way.”

Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a Monday news conference that her department is suing Gov. Pat McCrory, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, and the University of North Carolina over House Bill 2 that requires people use the restroom according to the gender on their birth certificate. The lawsuit alleges violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA).

McCrory is running for reelection this year, challenged by Attorney General Roy Cooper.

He filed a declaratory judgment action Monday asking for clarification of federal law as “the Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set restroom policies for public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina.”

On Monday night, the governor told Fox that “this started with the political left” and the Charlotte city government requiring private businesses accommodate people using restrooms or locker rooms by gender identity.

“We do not want to be the bathroom police for the private sector in North Carolina. That’s not our job. I have no interest in it,” McCrory said. “But we did do this for high schools or junior highs or elementary schools or universities, highway rest stops and government buildings. We said you need to go to the restroom, locker room or shower, multiuse showers and so forth of what your biological is. And gender is. Based upon what the door says.”

“And next thing I know this has become a national issue. I’m being threatened by the federal government. Transportation funds, housing funds, university funds.”

The governor said Congress “needs to further clarify, not only sexual orientation being a protected class, but we need to figure out what gender identity and gender expression is.”

“And the U.S. Congress kind of ignored it. And now the Obama administration is interpreting existing law, the word ‘sex’ has now become not just sexual orientation, but also gender identity and gender expression,” he said. “This is an issue none of use were talking about. I never talked about it during any campaign. I didn’t even know this problem existed up until several months ago.”

McCrory said companies should “absolutely not” be able to fire employees because they’re LGBT and insisted he’s “totally against any discrimination towards sexual orientation whatsoever.”

“The big issue for us is what is the definition of gender identity or gender expression, especially when you are using a group shower or group locker room or group restroom,” he added. “…We do not need different anti-discrimination rules in every city and state and small town and county throughout the United States of America. And that’s what we have right now.”

“And Congress has frankly ignored this, both Republicans and Democrats. They need to revisit — what is the definition of sex?”