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


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.”


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Your right God is perfect. God also created man and women and nothing in between. Ive kept my faith out of these threads but if you want to mention it,get it right. Man should not dress as a women and visa versa.
"A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this."


We think that both DOMA and Yes on Prop 8 should have been legally upheld by the US Supreme Court. Marriage should only be between a man and a woman! Since paying taxes are mentioned in the Bible does that mean that supporters of the religious freedom should stop paying their taxes to the US Government? The US Government will not last long without having money from taxes!

ellen Snyder

Its not only about the trans/ bathroom rights... it will be a giant step backward for all rights for all of is...What can I do to join in the fight on this ludicrous action taken by North Carolina.....


As a North Carolina resident, I am vehemently OPPOSED to your assuming that I am in favor of your passing the HB2 bill. You, and your fellow republicans, unilaterally, decided to go ahead with the LGBT bill, and did NOT ascertain the opinion of the voters in our state. You have no right to speak for me, nor my fellow citizens. You need to repeal that despicable mandate.


that's a good start..please tell everyone about this injustice..


thank you for standing up against this bill i also know how you feel i am an Arkansas resident but there are no non discrimination protections for lgbt people in the state but I am against discrimination in Arkansas also so I believe I know how you feel

M Bennett

The ACLU is backed with taxpayor money but they practice reverse descrimination...Has anybody seen one case where they back the rights of Christians..I have absolutely nothing against the LGBT community and I do not see where they are being descrimanated against. I see Christians being descrimanating against when it is against the moral values to make a cake, sell flowers, rent a facility to a gay/lesbian couple or even worse for a preacher or priest be forced to marry them. Where are their rights? It is not the G/L descrimanted against it is those have christian values.


Yes they only take on law suit that go with there way of thinking they mostly support homosexual groups they have not supported Christian they are an evil group

Richard Greene

Is ALEC spreading anti gay legislation proposals to states?

Is there a parallel progressive organization that spreads progressive legislation drafts?


I am still a bit confused. If a transgender individual, a 16 year old student let's say, was born in TN, a state that doesn't allow a person to change his or her sex on his or her birth certificate under any circumstance, but that student currently resides in NC, then under the law as passed, would that student ever be allowed to use a different bathroom based on his or her gender identity? And what about the student who was born in NY but resides in NC. Can NC really tell NY that if the state wants to change the sex on the NY birth certificate then the student must have had a sex change operation when NY will change the designation based on psychological testimony.


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