Advocacy Groups Sue North Carolina over Discriminatory Law
In the most recent attempt by states to voice opposition to the LGBT community, North Carolina has passed HB2. The primary intent of the law has been seen as trying to reverse a city ordinance by the city of Charlotte that was extending some rights to people within the LGBT community, but the law goes a bit further and has nullified the use of public bathrooms by transgender people based on their gender identity. Known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act prior to being signed into legislation, it also extends so much reach that cities in the state cannot explicitly establish their own ordinances in regards to this legislation.
Opposition from the passing of the bill into law hit social media like a storm. Opponents of the bill are fighting back. The most obvious and recognized organization is the ACLU. In a statement Friday, the ACLU announced that they would be filing a lawsuit challenging HB2.
“As our lawsuit highlighted yesterday, House Bill 2 singles out the LGBT community for discrimination.”
On Monday, the ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, Lambda Legal, and Equality NC filed its case in the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina against NC Governor Pat McCory, Attorney General Roy Cooper, and the University of North Carolina. The suit was filed on behalf of two transgender North Carolinians, Joaquin Carcano, a UNC-Chapel Hill employee, Payton McGarry, a UNC-Greensboro student, and Angela Gilmore, a lesbian and NC Central University law professor. In a press conference Monday, Chris Brook, the legal directory for ACLU NC spoke on the reason for the lawsuit. The group also released a joint statement:
As our lawsuit highlighted yesterday, House Bill 2 singles out the LGBT community for discrimination. That’s not only incompatible with the state’s constitutional and legal obligations but also our shared values as North Carolinians. We’re grateful the Attorney General stands on the on the right side of history with the many cities, states, businesses and individuals who have come out against this harmful measure.
The complaint argues that House Bill 2 is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. It also discriminates on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and it is an invasion of privacy for transgender people. The law also violates Title IX by discriminating against students and school employees on the basis of sex.