RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina General Assembly today passed a bill that does not repeal the discriminatory HB 2 law. Instead, it keeps in place many harmful parts of the law.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is delivering a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper urging him to veto the measure — although Cooper has voiced his support for the proposal and is expected to sign it into law.
The new bill bars any protections for transgender people using restrooms or other facilities in schools or other state or local government buildings. This means schools, court houses, city halls, government agencies, and more cannot allow transgender people to use the right restroom.
It also prevents cities from passing any protections for employment discrimination or discrimination by places of public accommodation — for LGBT people or anyone — until 2020.
“This is not a repeal of HB 2. Instead, they’re reinforcing the worst aspects of the law,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project. “North Carolina lawmakers should be ashamed of this backroom deal that continues to play politics with the lives of LGBT North Carolinians.”
The ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal will continue to defend right of transgender people to use restrooms and changing facilities consistent with their gender identity, as federal law requires. The lawsuit, which includes claims for the damages inflicted by H.B. 2, will continue, and the legal team will seek to amend the lawsuit to challenge H.B. 142 as well.
H.B. 2, which was introduced and signed into law in just 12 hours and without public input and has faced widespread opposition from the general public, banned many transgender people from restrooms and other public facilities matching their gender and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
“Lawmakers replaced a bad bill with another bad bill. This fake repeal is an attempt to silence LGBT people,” said Simone Bell, southern regional director at Lambda Legal. “It is shameful to stamp a start date on equality. We demand a full, clean repeal, and that includes comprehensive non-discrimination protections. Do not leave our community unprotected in the name of ‘compromise.’ We urge the governor to veto this bill and we encourage the NCAA to stay on the right side on history.”
Sarah Gillooly, policy director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said, “The governor and General Assembly may be turning their backs on LGBT North Carolinians today, but we are not. We will continue to fight in court for transgender people to access the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity and for equal protection for the entire LGBT community in North Carolina.”