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LGBT Rights

The ACLU's LGBT Project works for an America free of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This means an America where LGBT people can live openly, where identities, relationships and families are respected, and where there is fair treatment on the job, in schools, housing, public places, health care, and government programs. 

Latest H.B. 2 Repeal Proposal Still Discriminates

Posted on in LGBT Rights

RALEIGH — The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, groups that are representing LGBT North Carolinians in a federal lawsuit challenging House Bill 2, say they oppose a new proposal to repeal the law because it still enables discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

H.B. 2 bans many transgender people from restrooms matching their gender and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people. House Bill 186, introduced yesterday, would repeal H.B. 2 but replace it with a range of policies designed to restrict local authority and continue to allow discrimination against LGBT North Carolinians.

“Rather than repeal H.B. 2 entirely, this proposal still sanctions discrimination against transgender people and makes it harder for local governments to protect LGBT people under the law,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “Treating LGBT people as second-class citizens whose rights and equal protection can be put to a vote is disgraceful and will not undo the ongoing harm H.B.2 has brought to North Carolina and its people.”

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RALEIGH —North Carolina House representatives today introduced a bill that would fully repeal the state’s anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2, and expand state nondiscrimination laws for housing, employment, credit, insurance, public accommodations, and education to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender North Carolinians.

House Bill 82 was filed by Reps. Pricey Harrison, Susan Fisher, and Deb Butler.

H.B. 2, which became law in March 2016, bans many transgender people from restrooms matching their gender and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people. The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, Lambda Legal and the law firm of Jenner & Block are challenging H.B. 2 in federal court on behalf of four LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina.

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Photo: Lonnie Billard in his home in Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE – A former Teacher of the Year who was fired from Charlotte Catholic High School after announcing on Facebook that he was marrying his longtime same-sex partner filed a federal lawsuit today that says his firing violates the Civil Rights Act.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the law firm Tin Fulton Walker & Owen on behalf of Lonnie Billard, who taught drama and English at Charlotte Catholic for more than a decade, both full-time and as a long-term substitute teacher. In 2012, Billard was named the school’s Teacher of the Year after being nominated by students.

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RALEIGH –The North Carolina legislature today convened for a special session where it failed to pass a bill repealing H.B. 2, the state’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.

Based on a promise from the General Assembly to fully repeal H.B. 2, the Charlotte City Council repealed its LGBT non-discrimination ordinances earlier this week. However, the Legislature failed to follow through on its promise, despite the deep and widespread opposition and outrage over the discriminatory nature of the law.

H.B. 2 bans transgender people from accessing restrooms and public facilities consistent with their gender identity and prevents local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people. H.B. 2 is estimated to have cost North Carolina over $600 million in lost revenue from businesses concerned with the discriminatory nature of the law, and was a contributing factor in the election defeat of the outgoing Governor Pat McCrory.

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RALEIGH – The Charlotte City Council voted today to repeal their LGBT non-discrimination ordinance in a move that could lead to the repeal of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law, H.B 2. The ACLU and Lambda Legal today called on North Carolina legislative leaders to follow through and repeal H.B. 2, the state law that bans many transgender people from appropriate restrooms and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people. The law caused harm to transgender people across the state and cost North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue because of widespread opposition to the measure from both the general public and business community.

The two organizations issued the following statement in response.

“H.B. 2 was an unprecedented attack on the LGBT community, in particular against transgender people, and we are encouraged that its days are numbered,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “It is imperative that the General Assembly hold up their end of the deal and repeal H.B. 2 in full without delay. This will be an important step for North Carolinians to move forward, but it never should have come at the cost of protections for LGBT people living in Charlotte.”

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