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.”
“LGBT rights aren’t a bargaining chip. Charlotte shouldn’t have had to repeal its ordinance in exchange for H.B. 2 to be repealed,” said Simone Bell, the Southern Regional Director for Lambda Legal. “LGBT people in North Carolina still need protection from discrimination. The right action is for the North Carolina Legislature to pass a statewide comprehensive civil rights bill that includes full protections for 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.
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 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 and that 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.
To read more about the case: https://www.aclu.org/cases/carcano-et-al-v-mccrory-et-al