RALEIGH – North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said today that his office “will not defend the constitutionality of the discrimination in House Bill 2,” the sweeping anti-LGBT law the North Carolina General Assembly passed and Governor Pat McCrory signed last week.
In response, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, Equality NC, and Lambda Legal – four organizations challenging House Bill 2 in federal court – released the following joint statement.
“North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, the state's top law enforcement official, has concluded House Bill 2 is unconstitutional and harms North Carolinians without justification. As our lawsuit highlighted yesterday, House Bill 2 singles out the LGBT community for discrimination. That's not only incompatible with the state's constitutional and legal obligations but also our shared values as North Carolinians. We’re grateful the Attorney General stands on the on the right side of history with the many cities, states, businesses and individuals who have come out against this harmful measure.”
Yesterday, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, and Equality North Carolina filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law, HB 2. The case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina against North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper, and the University of North Carolina, is on behalf of two transgender North Carolinians, Joaquín Carcaño, a UNC-Chapel Hill employee, and Payton McGarry, a UNC-Greensboro student, and Angela Gilmore, a lesbian and North Carolina Central University law professor.
In the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that through HB 2, 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. The complaint argues that HB 2 is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment because it discriminates on the basis of sex and sexual orientation and is an invasion of privacy for transgender people. The law also violates Title IX by discriminating against students and school employees on the basis of sex.