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ACLU & Lambda Legal Denounce Last-Minute H.B. 2 Proposal

ACLU & Lambda Legal Denounce Last-Minute H.B. 2 Proposal

RALEIGH — Groups that are representing LGBT North Carolinians in a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s House Bill 2 today denounced a last-minute proposal from General Assembly leaders that would repeal the anti-LGBT law in name only while still including provisions that would enshrine discriminatory measures into state law.

“Legislative leaders need to stop floating bad proposals that would keep discrimination in state law instead of fully repealing HB2,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “The answer all along has been a clean repeal of HB2. Tonight legislative leaders have made one thing clear: they will do everything possible to prevent LGBT people from receiving equal protection under the law.”

“North Carolina lawmakers need to stop playing around and get serious about repealing HB2,” said Simone Bell, Southern Regional Director for Lambda Legal. “It’s now become a game of he said-he said, but they cannot pass the buck on this. The NCAA has given the legislators a deadline and they can’t continue to hide the ball. We have not seen the language of the bill, but what we heard at the press conference sounds like it still allows discrimination against transgender people. North Carolina deserves better than this: Repeal HB2 and replace it with a real non-discrimination bill that recognizes the contributions LGBT North Carolinians make to this state.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal are challenging H.B. 2 in federal court. The law bans many transgender people from restrooms and other public facilities matching their gender and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

On May 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will consider a request to block the anti-transgender provisions of the law barring transgender individuals from using restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender from being enforced. In August 2016, a lower court blocked the University of North Carolina from enforcing those provisions against three transgender plaintiffs in the case.

Background:

The ACLU and Lambda Legal lawsuit, Carcaño v. McCrory, was filed days after H.B. 2 was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed by Governor Pat McCrory. In August 2016, a district court granted a request to stop the University of North Carolina from enforcing H.B. 2 against three transgender plaintiffs in the lawsuit. In granting the preliminary injunction, the court found that the challengers are likely to succeed in their argument that the law violates Title IX.

In the lawsuit, the groups argue that through the law, North Carolina sends a purposeful message that LGBT people are second-class citizens who are undeserving of the privacy, respect, and protections afforded others in the state. Transgender individuals, in particular, are expelled from public life through H.B. 2’s mandate that they be forced out of restrooms and changing facilities that accord with who they are.

The complaint argues that H.B. 2 violates Title IX and Title VII by discriminating against students and school employees on the basis of sex. It also argues the law is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment by discriminating on the basis of sex and sexual orientation and violates the privacy and medical decision making rights of transgender people.