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Meeting of ACLU-NC's Western North Carolina Chapter
Date: Sunday, May 31
Location: Altamont Theatre, Asheville

Use of Deadly Force and Racial Profiling: What Can Be Done?
Date: Wednesday, June 3
Location: North Carolina Advocates for Justice, Raleigh

Statewide Membership Meeting
Date: Sunday, June 7
Location: Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte

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RALEIGH – Today North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory announced plans to veto Senate Bill 2, a discriminatory measure that would allow sworn government officials to deny marriage services to legally eligible couples if the officials cite a deeply held religious objection.

“We applaud Governor McCrory for pledging to veto this discriminatory measure, and we urge the General Assembly to keep government services open for all North Carolinians by sustaining the governor’s veto,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “Senate Bill 2 is a transparent attempt to deny gay and lesbian couples the freedom to marry, but it is so broadly written that it would also allow court officers to deny services to interracial couples, interfaith couples, and others. No couple should have to spend their wedding day rushing from one courthouse to another trying to prove they meet the religious criteria of a magistrate just to get a marriage license. This happy day should be spent with friends, family and loved ones - not in a maze of government offices.”

McCrory announced his decision in a news release today after voicing concerns about the measure in March.  

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RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina is urging the North Carolina General Assembly to reject HB 465, a bill that would triple North Carolina’s mandatory waiting period for women seeking abortion care to 72 hours and prevent many qualified doctors, such as family practitioners, from providing abortion care to their patients. A new version of the bill was passed by the North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee today and is expected to reach the Senate floor for a vote without delay. The North Carolina House would need to vote to concur with the Senate’s version before the bill is sent to the governor.  

“This bill jeopardizes a woman’s health and restricts her care options by denying medical services when she and her doctor have decided they are necessary,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “A woman is more than capable of taking the time she needs to make her own important and personal medical decisions without a forced 72-hour delay. The government should not use bullying tactics to interfere in a woman’s private medical decisions by creating unnecessary delays and preventing qualified doctors from performing a medically safe procedure. We call on the General Assembly to reject these harmful and unnecessary restrictions.”

Only four other states in the nation (Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah) have 72 hour waiting periods for abortion care. According to the Guttmacher Institute, abortion is an incredibly safe procedure with less than 0.05 percent of abortions resulting in complications requiring hospital care. 

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By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Carolyna Caicedo Manrique, Staff Attorney, ACLU of North Carolina

According to Locke Bell, the district attorney of Gaston County, North Carolina, the ethnicity of a domestic-violence survivor can disqualify that person from equal protection under the law. The Charlotte Observer reports that Bell refused to certify a domestic violence survivor’s visa application because he thinks the relevant law protecting crime victims “was never intended to protect Latinos from Latinos.”

The controversy surrounds Evelin, a domestic violence survivor who courageously called police to press charges against her abusive boyfriend. She says he punched her, kicked her, and pulled her hair. Last week, he returned to her home after being deported, accused her of seeing another man, and repeatedly kicked her. Evelin reported the crime to the police and, as is her right, applied for a U visa.

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RALEIGH – The ACLU of North Carolina today launched Mobile Justice NC, a free smart phone app that allows North Carolinians to automatically record and submit cell phone videos to the ACLU of North Carolina when they believe law enforcement officers are violating civil rights.

Mobile Justice NC is available for use on Android and iOS phones in English and Spanish. The videos recorded by the app will be transmitted to the ACLU-NC and preserved even if the user’s phone is later seized or destroyed. 

“Our office receives hundreds of calls each year from people describing bad encounters with the police,” said Carolyna Caicedo Manrique, staff attorney for the ACLU of North Carolina. “This tool gives North Carolinians the ability to serve as a check on police abuse when they believe it is occurring, allowing users to record and document any interaction with law enforcement.”

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