Advocacy groups in North Carolina are asking an appeals court to expand a recent ruling in favor of allowing transgender people restroom access in the state.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder (R) issued an injunction against North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law for two transgender students and an employee at the University of North Carolina.
“A ruling on equal protection or any other constitutional grounds could fully eviscerate HB2 and its unnecessary bathroom provisions.”
The ruling states the two students and an employee must be allowed to use the restrooms that match their gender identity because HB2 violates Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in educational institutions. The injunction is temporary, as the case will go to trial in November. Though Judge Schroeder ruled in favor of the injunction based on Title IX, he did fall short of ruling that HB2 violates constitutional equal protection rights.
Chris Brook, the legal director for North Carolina’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, says the plaintiffs will ask the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule in favor of expanding the equal protection claim to include all North Carolina residents. “A ruling on equal protection or any other constitutional grounds could fully eviscerate HB2 and its unnecessary bathroom provisions,” Brook told the Associated Press.
Joaquin Carcaño, a UNC employee who is also one of the plaintiffs, also issued a statement. “Today, the tightness that I have felt in my chest every day since HB2 passed has eased. But the fight is not over: we won’t rest until this discriminatory law is defeated,” said Carcaño.
HB2 passed back in March and it forces transgender North Carolinians to use the restrooms that correspond with their birth certificates and not their gender identity. The law has caused a massive blowback from many large companies, celebrities and even the NBA, who moved their all-star game out of the state.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder was appointed by President George W. Bush in January 2007.