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.

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unclelewi

Real easy people. If you have a wee wee one room. If you have a Hoo Ha you use the other one. Don't matter what you look like. Maye we should have pictures of genatalia on rest room doors instead of men and women. Fine with me, no joke.

Anonymous

Architecture and engineering may be part of the solution to this homophobia, especially in restrooms.

Maybe restroom stalls need to be designed differently to offer more privacy so homophobes won't be so scared. Stalls could be constructed of a translucent material from floor to ceiling with a different venting mechanism.

If conservatives are that frightened they won't mind paying for it!

Anonymous

In men's restrooms there is actual a guy-code, it's okay to joke at the row of urinals but staring at others is NOT allowed.

So it doesn't matter whether they are gay, straight or transgender - staring is off limits!

Most women could probably care less about their restrooms since they have more privacy than most men's restrooms and are generally more mature than us men.

unclelewi

I am completely supportive of lgbt rights or rights for all people. We are all the same. Regarding the bathroom issue. I am a large fit man and would absolutely have no problem sharing a bathroom or public shower with a trans gender man or woman.Does anyone think about the girl that has to use a restroom or shower alone with a large male even though he is completely harmless?

Anonymous

When are you going to address the rights of biological women in all this? Do we not count?

Anonymous

HB 2 requires trans men to use the ladies room. Since trans men do not look any different from any other men, this law gives men a plausible reason to enter the women's rest-room. It's a rapist's dream come true. All they have to do is pretend to be trans, and then wait for the right victim to come along.

Would it be possible to get an immediate emergency injunction against enforcement of this law? It appears to create an immediate risk to women's safety, on the part of men who are not trans, but are taking advantage of the confusion created by HB2 to gain access where they would otherwise be obviously suspicious.

Anonymous

I am so sick of this crap. The reshaping of society into rights for the few and no rights for the many. What about my right to privacy. I am a woman and want to use the bathroom without worrying about having men in the woman's room. I want to use the woman's changing room without men in there. These bathrooms and changing rooms were built for women. Men's bathrooms and changing rooms were built for men. Why do my rights and the rights of other woman and men have to be infringed? Build separate facilities. Use the private family bathroom. JUST STAY OUT OF MINE. I DON'T WANT YOU THERE! That is my right!

Anonymous

Hey you idiots!!!!! Its about grown ass men trying to use a woman's restroom or public facility for women!!! Not about gays or lesbians...Since when did all of the other sexual preferences and/or orientations end up in the same place. Those who oppose this bill are so quick to whine and complain about their rights!!!!....what about those of us who are having our civil liberties trampled on because of our faith, or better yet, because we simply don't want some grown ass man in the same bathroom as our wives and daughters or high school male in the same locker room as our daughter's. Get a grip....What you do in your personal time, your sexual preference, and your sexual orientation are your business, not the rest of the worlds....and just in case you missed it, the needs of the many will out weigh the needs of a few. This is not a race or prejudice issue; if you have a penis, you pee standing up, that's it....plain and simple..... get over it.

Anonymous

I must admit that calling those who disagree with oneself "idiots", the use of multiple exclamation marks and generally poor command of grammar in what appears to be a hastily-written rant certainty qualify as "whining" to me. As to your last remark, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few," I must vehemently disagree: no one's needs outweigh those of anyone else. Finally, I understand your concern about privacy, but your comment fails to justify the bill's bans on municipal labor laws and limits bans on any time of discrimination other than what the Republican majority saw fit to address, banning not only LGBT protections but protections for many other groups.

Anonymous

"Gender" is a social construct, not a biological fact. Laws prevent discrimination based on sex, which is innate, unlike "gender."

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