RALEIGH – A lawsuit was filed early Monday morning by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina, and Equality North Carolina to challenge the state’s recently passed House Bill 2 on the grounds that it violates the Title IX protections of the Education Amendments of 1972 as well as the equal protections provided by the 14th Amendment.
The HB2 lawsuit is being brought against Gov. Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper, the University of North Carolina, and the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina on behalf of Joaquin Carcano, a UNC Chapel Hill employee and transgender male; Payton McGarry, a full-time student at UNC Greensboro and transgender male; and Angela Gilmore, a law professor at North Carolina Central University and a lesbian.
ACLU-NC and Equality NC are also both listed as formal plaintiffs on the official lawsuit documents, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
“We’re challenging this extreme and discriminatory measure in order to ensure that everyone who lives in and visits North Carolina is protected under the law,” said Chris Brook, ACLU-NC’s legal director. “This cruel, insulting, and unconstitutional law is an attack on fairness in employment, education, and local governance that encourages discrimination against thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home, and particularly targets transgender men and women. H.B. 2 aims to override local school board policies, local public accommodations laws, and more.”
House Bill 2, entitled by the N.C. General Assembly as the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act,” includes several provisions, notably requiring people in N.C. using public, multiple-occupancy bathrooms to use the one which matches the gender on their birth certificate. Other provisions of the bill include preventing local governments within the state from establishing their own anti-discrimination laws as well as nullifying any previously established local ordinances that regulated workforce discrimination, the use of public accommodations, and minimum wage standards, among other business-related issues. It also maintains the right of private individuals, businesses and universities to adopt new or keep their own anti-discrimination policies.
You can read the bill in its entirety here.
Tara Borelli, a senior attorney with Lambda Legal, presented her argument for the lawsuit in a release provided by the LGBT Center of Raleigh.
“No legislature should be using its power to require cities, counties, or school districts to discriminate against anyone,” Borelli said. “This law is a targeted and unprecedented attack on the LGBT community, particularly against transgender people, both young people and adults. Clearly HB2 is unconstitutional as it not only violates the guarantees of equal protection and due process in the U.S. Constitution but it also violates Title IX by requiring discrimination in education. North Carolina legislators cannot strip equality out of the Constitution and the law.”
Please follow the North State Journal and Jones & Blount as we continue to follow this story as it develops.