The federal government may cut billions in aid to North Carolina and Mississippi after both states passed unprecedented measures that legalize discrimination against LGBT people.
Rachel Maddow reports that both the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation are investigating the recently passed anti-LGBT “religious freedom” law in Mississippi, and, if they find the state in violation of anti-discrimination laws, the state would lose billions of dollars in aid.
In addition, last week The New York Times reported that the Obama administration was in the process of considering whether North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law makes the state ineligible for federal funding for schools, highways, and housing. The new law bans transgender people from accessing public facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, eliminates all existing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in the state, and prohibits cities from adopting any new ones.
On Tuesday, Josh Earnest, the White House Press Secretary condemned the new “religious freedom” laws as “mean-spirited,” declaring:
… the president and the administration has long been on the side of justice and equality, and some of the laws that we’ve seen passed that target LGBT Americans are not consistent with those values of fairness and equality. And in some cases, those laws are outright mean-spirited, and it’s not something that most Americans are comfortable with.
When asked about the “religious liberty” bills that have passed recently in North Carolina and Mississippi, Earnest said that any decision federal agencies might make to cut funds as a result of the new anti-LGBT laws will be made in conjunction with the Justice Department and with uniformity across all agencies.
Bottom line: Billions of dollars in federal aid for schools, highways and housing could be at risk for North Carolina and Mississippi because the conservative Christians behind those mean-spirited and despicable laws insist on treating LGBT people as second class citizens.
Watch Rachel Maddow discuss the issue below –