During a special session Dec. 21, North Carolina legislators failed to repeal House Bill 2 ( HB2 )the state's so-called "bathroom bill."
Signed by outgoing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in March, HB2 bans people from using public bathrooms that don't correspond to their biological sex, as listed on their birth certificates. Backlash against HB2 caused huge economic losses for the state, such as musicians ( including Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Bruce Springsteen and the San Francisco Symphony ) canceling shows and the NBA moving its all-star game from Charlotte to another city.
The state law was passed in response to a Charlotte city "nondiscrimination ordinance" that allowed transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. However, on Dec. 19, the Charlotte City Council rescinded its nondiscrimination ordinanceapparently in exchange for a special session by the legislature to repeal HB2.
Lambda Legal and the ACLU issued a joint statement condemning the repeal failure. "It is a shame that North Carolina's General Assembly is refusing to clean up the mess they made. The support for the LGBT community from political leaders, faith leaders, businesses, and everyday people that has emerged this year will not fade. These attempts to expel transgender people from public life will not be tolerated," said James Esseks, director of the ACLU's LGBT & HIV Project. "The legislature may not be willing to undo their unconstitutional overreach and respect the rights of LGBT people, so we'll just have to see them in court."
National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling said, "This is unacceptable. The legislature's actions today have proven that the people of North Carolinaparticularly transgender North Carolinianscannot have any faith in their shameless lawmakers.
"We continue to stand with the people of North Carolina, particularly the transgender people who have been harmed by HB2 and their own lawmakers' actions, and we will continue to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with them until this shameful legislation is repealed in its entirety."
The legislature will meet again Jan. 11 for a regular session of the General Assembly, at which time they could discuss repeal again.
More information about the case is at LambdaLegal.org/in-court/cases/nc_carcano-v-mccrory.
Bar groups address
The Affinity Bar Associations released a statement regarding the recent increase in hate-motivated violence and harassment.
In part, it says, "In the aftermath of this particularly divisive presidential election, there has been a surge of bias-motivated and hate violence across the nation targeting many groups, including Muslims, immigrants, women, members of the LGBTQ community and African-Americans. We call on lawyers across the country and our elected officials to denounce and take action against this hate.
"To assist our members who may be part of or work with communities affected by hate violence, we have created a Hate Crimes Resources Toolkit, which has information about reporting incidents, supporting community organizations, offering legal services, and coordinating with government agencies."
The toolkit is at NAPABA.org/page/HateCrimeResources.
The Affinity Bar Associations consist of the Hispanic National Bar Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association ( NAPABAthe source of the toolkit ), the National Association of Women Lawyers, the National Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association and the National Native American Bar Association.
Earlier information at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Groups-Condemn-North-Carolina-Lawmakers-Failure-to-Repeal-HB-2-/57563.html .