The Fight Against North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law Heads to Court

ADD YOUR NAME TO REPEAL HB2

Apparently the most urgent need in the state of North Carolina involves stopping transgender people from using bathrooms.

For North Carolina lawmakers, the urgency was so great that they felt compelled to call a special legislative session — costing taxpayers’ $42,000 a day — to pass the most sweeping piece of anti-LGBT legislation in history, which Gov. Pat McCrory signed the same day.

The reason for this extreme and unusual action by state lawmakers: The city of Charlotte dared to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance that extended legal protections to LGBT people. Though the ordinance did many things, it was dubbed the “bathroom ordinance” by opponents who falsely claimed that protecting transgender people from discrimination would somehow threaten the privacy and safety of others. But in actuality, it’s a myth that has instead served to justify and perpetuate violence against the transgender community for years. 

Animated by this distorted rhetoric about privacy and safety, state lawmakers moved HB2 through the state legislature swiftly. After he signed the legislation, Gov. McCrory disingenuously proclaimed it necessary to prevent “men from using women’s bathrooms.”

In addition to repealing the Charlotte ordinance, North Carolina’s new, hateful measure also:

  • Forces transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that accord with the gender listed on their birth certificate, whether or not that matches how they identify
  • Forces transgender individuals to use bathrooms and locker rooms in any government building, including public universities and colleges, that accord with the gender listed on their birth certificate, whether or not that matches how they identify
  • Prohibits local governments from passing LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections

It is a dangerous law and a disgrace. It is also unconstitutional. And today, we are suing to strike it down.

Nothing about Charlotte’s nondiscrimination law or any other law or policy in North Carolina would have allowed men into women’s restrooms. As The New York Times explained on Friday: “That threat exists only in the imagination of bigots.”

This imagined threat, however, is what prompted Gov. McCrory to become, as the Charlotte Observer wrote, “a 21st century governor who joined a short, tragic list of 20th century governors. You know at least some of these names, probably: Wallace, Faubus, Barnett.”

The law is intolerable and puts the most vulnerable among us at risk of discrimination, harassment, and violence. But as I wrote to lawmakers last week when this law passed:

“Whether through our families by blood or by choice, [trans people] have community. We will not be forgotten and the reverberations of your actions, lawmakers, will be felt and responded to with vigorous reminders that you are on the wrong side of history. And perhaps someday you will realize that someone you love was harmed by your ignorance and your inability to see our beautiful and common humanity and maybe then you will regret your vote.

Until then, I care less about you, hateful lawmaker, and more about my beautiful community. You are all loved and I will never stop fighting for you.”

Today, the ACLU, Lambda Legal, and Equality North Carolina are fighting in court for the trans folks who have been targeted relentlessly in North Carolina and for the entire LGBT community who is harmed by this regressive and discriminatory law.

This is just one tool among many to counter the horrible rhetoric that has led to the passage of this law and the introduction of many others in state legislatures across the country. Unless and until we embrace the humanity of our trans community members, we will continue to see this hateful rhetoric and legislation.

In court, on the streets, in schools, and across the country, we will be saying, “Enough is enough.”

Onward.

View comments (92)
Read the Terms of Use

Anonymous

As an atheist and advocate of equality in all things for all individuals, I find that the very idea of allowing anyone who "claims" to be a woman into a womans restroom area is inappropriate. I have seen men who most obviously were very much men (heard them making lewd remarks to a woman working at a Wal-Mart; basic cat calling etc) try to go into a restroom claiming that he identified as a woman. He had done so seconds after a young girl who couldn't of been older than 16 had gone to use the restroom. I myself had been waiting outside the restrooms waiting for my husband, so when I heard the girls shrill scream I immediately investigated. Surely enough the man had been peeping under the door and trying to get into the stall with the young girl. This is a prime example of why we must keep restrooms separated by our genetically designed genders. If I hadn't been there and prepared, that man could have done something horrific, under the guise of being transsexual.

Anonymous

So far, you don't strike me as that for equality.

Let me apologize for these people. I have been struggling for the last two years to transition, and every one of these perverted assholes makes my life that much more a hell. This isn't a "prime example" of anything. You are just using this example to prop up a conspicuous bigotry, hiding behind the term liberal. I have met conservative Christians that were more charitable and loving than some atheist liberals. The grouping on its own doesn't equal tolerance.

There are some people who abuse things. But this doesn't represent the whole. I'd like to not believe that of atheism either.

Anonymous

Bs. Stop making crap up

Anonymous

I don’t know why people defend a useless dangerous conduct such as homosexual/lesbian conduct & I don’t know the apologism for transexuality which is surgically mutilating people with dangerous hormones to make them fake opposite sex members & they should make that illegal.

Main ideas of science and math are always the same (such as freezing temperature is 32 Degrees Fahrenheit & lower, 2+2=4) and with main ideas of science, unless new information is found which changes prior conclusion (such as in 1950s when they found a whale is a mammal not a fish as scientists first thought), the main ideas of science stay the same. I do not believe mainstream science/psychology in the 1960s to early 70s discovered anything new to change long held conclusions on homosexuality when they removed homosexuality from DSM in 1973. They have as said since 1973 become ideological on gay/lesbian topic. I don’t deny possibility homosexuality could be genetic or inborn for some but that is unproven. Even if it’s true that homosexuality is inborn for some people, homosexual/lesbian conduct would still be bad for health.

Homofobia is telling truths, theories and speculations which offend homosexual groups. While they have not conclusively proven homosexuality/lesbianism is inborn genes, homosexual groups often use this theory as definite by saying how they are born this way-which possibly can be the case for some but more studies are needed. But when facts are raised about the link between childhood sex abuse and a kid doing homosexual and lesbian activities in adutlhood, homosexual groups often get offended, condemn it as homofobia.

With homosexuality being found among animals, cannibalism, stealing, etc. are also found among them, so it’s a bad idea to say that because animals do something people do. It’s best for gays/lesbians to be celibate until cure is found for this. No gays, don’t choose orientation, but they choose their sexual behavior.

Any facts which show homosexuality/lesbianism to be bad and put negative views on this is condemned. Homosexual/lesbian conduct is bad for health as smoking is and needs to be marginalized like smoking is. People who engage in homosexual/lesbian conduct have more medical problems caused by homosexual/lesbian conduct. I believe the negative views of homosexual/lesbian conduct is the right view because there is something wrong with homosexual/lesbian conduct and they must make it a crime to do sex changes. I know my view offends homosexuals, but most smokers do not get offended by negative views of tobacco use. So homosexuals/lesbians have to hear others give negative views of their sex lives, because there is something wrong with this just as there’s something wrong with smoking.

Yes, it’s a proven fact that childhood sex abuse is a major cause of homosexual/lesbian conduct in adulthood. Anybody who denies the link is dishonest, delusional or both. Never have I heard straights blame childhood sex abuse for reasons a man has sex with a woman and fathers children with her. Yet sometimes have heard gays and lesbians say childhood sex abuse is reason they do same sex behaviors.Any conduct can be learned and this includes sexual conduct. There are homosexuals and lesbians who say that childhood sex abuse (especially those who are victims of a gay priest) are reasons why they think they do same sex behaviors in adulthood. Had they not been repeatedly molested, would they have turned out straight instead of gay or lesbian? It doesn’t take an expert to know that sex abuse in youth can mess up the mind and cause people to behave in ways they normally wouldn’t. Of course, not all who are sexually abused in youth become gay in adulthood-but the risk is higher.

A kid can become a mugger by living in high crime neighborhood, seeing muggings in childhood and learning this conduct. Yes, there are muggers who were not raised in high crime neighborhoods but still became muggers, but that does not rule out other causes. Many emphysema victims did not smoke and were not exposed to 2nd hand smoke and got emphysema due to bad genes but it would be dishonest to deny truth that if a person smokes, he or she is more likely to get emphysema. Since homosexuals and lesbians (transexuals) often suffered childhood sex abuse, it’s no surprise that homosexuals and lesbians think childhood sexual abuse is OK when it’s homosexual activities.

Anonymous

I find it absolutely hilarious that you claim that "math and science" never change.

And yet here we are, in the 21st century, exploring new branches of math and science every freaking day. Do you have electricity in your home? "New" science. Drive a car? New science. Believe that the earth is round and orbits a star, as opposed to being flat and having the sun orbit it? New science.

I have four kids. I am myself a cis woman. The only people I'm worried about going into the restroom with me are nosy bigots like you. I don't give a flying pig's flabby willy if the entire cast of Cirque du Soleil is in the next stall over, so long as my stall locks and I have toilet paper handy. I'm not in the bathroom to make sure that the tall lady with the broad shoulders and big feet has a vagina tucked away and is "really" a woman. She has to pee, same as me. That's the only thought in her head in a public bathroom.

If you want to know what genitals someone has before they're allowed in the bathroom, you're the dangerous pervert. And you need to stay the hell away from me and my kids before I call the cops to report sexual harassment on you and your frankly disturbing need to ask what parts we have between our legs.

Anonymous

Wow...

32 freezing was arbitrary. Fahrenheit based the scale on the lowest freezing point given the materials he had (which was salt water). It could have easily been 0 F for normal water. 2+2 is also based up the definition of terms. For a binary (0 and 1) system, 2 doesn't even exist without working with a long string of 0s and 1s. In essence, all of your points are based on limiting your own definitions of what is possible.

What makes homosexuality "bad"? You throw that word around, but you don't really get that it actually has to be defined. Maybe I'm naive, but to me for something to be "bad" it has to be more than "something I think it weird or strange" and into the territory of "this actually causes pain to people." Does consensual homosexual sex hurt you? No, it has nothing to do with you. What about the people it involves? No, it is consensual (and I assume they're using condoms to keep things clean and safe). What about heterosexual rape? Yes, this is bad. It hurts people, and studies have actually shown the long term effects of being hurt during sex. Cannibalism? Definitely bad (someone got eaten). Murder? Yes, definitely bad.

What else is bad? Wishing people who are just odd harm because you can't stomach them being different from you. It is one thing if a homosexual man is actively trying to hurt you (maybe anal stuff). It is quite another if they have nothing to do with you, and you want to hurt them just for being there.

Anonymous

You really come across as a big dummy in this post. Was that your goal?

Anonymous

There is something wrong with a man thinking he is a woman or a woman thinking she is a man. It is mutilation with dangerous hormones. Most transexuals were sexually abused in childhood which messed up their minds and transexuals sexually abuse children. Transexuals are mutilated gays and lesbians. I don’t care what others say but mutilating a man or woman to make them fake members of opposite sex is gay/lesbian. And gay/lesbian groups are apologists for Transexuals which is why the word T is there. They must abolish this surgical mutilation.

All transexuals are homosexual/lesbian as the act of mutilating to become false opposite sex is itself an act of homosexuality/lesbianism-sad maiming and make this illegal. Finally, sex change maimings which is mutilating some1 to make them fake members of opposite sex is comparable to trying to make a man a fake animal because he thinks he is an animal trapped in a human body. Most feminists are not speaking against this. 1 would hope that feminists would oppose the mutilation that happened to Chastity Sun Bono as feminists have spoken against Female Genital Mutilation which happens in some nations. Transexuals are mutilations which no Dr. should take part in, yet most feminists are not condemning this female genital and breast mutilation as what happened to Chastity S. Bono where her healthy breasts were mutilated, dangerous hormone shots and her genitals mutilated.

Anonymous

The ACLU has declared themselves women haters. By reading these comments here and elsewhere that this time the aclu is being the misogynist bully they claim to prosecute. Very few are in favor of this. I have had to withdraw my support from all feminist groups because of the bullying of the trans population. It takes little effort to find online the violent individuals with sexual abuse histories who have embraced this movement. But the aclu wants them in spaces where women are at their most vulnerable. Trans people have their rights, but not at the expense of women's rights which the aclu, by filing this complaint, are doing their best to exterminate. Women's restrooms and lockerooms should be penis-free zones. Protect biological women first.

Anonymous

Safety issue is no myth. For example, we girls and women from NYC 1960's were taught to hold it in until we got home because men who looked like women were perpetrating crimes in the restrooms. This limited the liberty of females and also caused a quality of life issue - fear. Law enforcement was heightened to solve the problem. Then, NYC also eliminated public street restroom booths because of rampant sex crime problems, and passed new regulations for restaurants to provide bathroom access instead. Safety from insemination or fear of it is not bigotry, it's liberty.

Pages

Stay Informed