ACLU and Lambda Legal Condemn 'Fake' Repeal of HB 2
RALEIGH, N.C. The North Carolina General Assembly today passed a bill that does not repeal the discriminatory HB 2 law. Instead, it keeps in place the most harmful parts of the law.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is delivering a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper urging him to veto the measure although Cooper has voiced his support for the proposal and is expected to sign it into law.
The new bill bars any protections for transgender people using restrooms or other facilities in schools or other state or local government buildings. This means schools, court houses, city halls, government agencies, and more cannot allow transgender people to use the right restroom.
It also prevents cities from passing any protections for employment discrimination or discrimination by places of public accommodation for LGBT people or anyone until 2020.
"This is not a repeal of HB 2. Instead, they're reinforcing the worst aspects of the law," said James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project. "North Carolina lawmakers should be ashamed of this backroom deal that continues to play politics with the lives of LGBT North Carolinians."
The ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal have worked on a challenge to HB 2 in federal court over the last year on behalf of four LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina. The law, which was introduced and signed into law in just 12 hours and without public input and has faced widespread opposition from the general public, banned many transgender people from restrooms and other public facilities matching their gender and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
"Lawmakers replaced a bad bill with another bad bill. This fake repeal is an attempt to silence LGBT people," said Simone Bell, southern regional director at Lambda Legal. "It is shameful to stamp a start date on equality. We demand a full, clean repeal, and that includes comprehensive non-discrimination protections. Do not leave our community unprotected in the name of 'compromise.' We urge the governor to veto this bill and we encourage the NCAA to stay on the right side on history."
Sarah Gillooly, policy director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said, "The governor and General Assembly may be turning their backs on LGBT North Carolinians today, but we are not. We will continue to fight in court for transgender people to access the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity and for equal protection for the entire LGBT community in North Carolina."
To read more about the case: www.aclu.org/cases/carcano-et-al-v-mccrory-et-al .
This release can be found here: www.aclu.org/news/aclu-and-lambda-legal-condemn-fake-repeal-hb-2 .
From HRC - SHAMEFUL: NC Lawmakers and Governor Cooper Sell Out LGBTQ Community With Discriminatory HB2 "Repeal"
RALEIGH Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), Equality North Carolina, and the National Center for Transgender Equality ( NCTE ), strongly condemned North Carolina's shameful new legislation that lawmakers and Governor Cooper touted as a "repeal" of their discriminatory HB2 law.
The so-called "deal" was disgracefully rammed through the legislature today following secret backroom negotiations on Wednesday. News of the fake repeal was met with a huge national outcry from major civil rights organizations including the HRC, Equality North Carolina, the National Center for Transgender Equality, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Voto Latino, The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; corporations including IBM, Salesforce, Dow and Levi's; and celebrities like Ellen Page, Jane Fonda, Janet Mock, Tegan and Sara, Montel Williams, Rob Reiner, Jason Collins, Martina Navratilova and Raymond Braun have all called out this rotten deal.
"After more than a year of inaction, today North Carolina lawmakers doubled-down on discrimination," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "This new law does not repeal HB2. Instead, it institutes a statewide prohibition on equality by banning non-discrimination protections across North Carolina and fuels the flames of anti-transgender hate. Each and every lawmaker who supported this bill has betrayed the LGBTQ community. HRC will explore every legal action to combat this dangerous legislation, and we urge all businesses, sports leagues and entertainers who have fought against HB2 to continue standing strong with the LGBTQ community attacked by this hateful law."
"HB2 was hastily passed without any input from the LGBTQ community just one year ago," said Chris Sgro Equality NC Executive Director. "Today, we returned to the legislature with a deal made between Governor Cooper, Phil Berger and Tim Moore that once again left out the ones most impacted by the discriminatory law - LGBTQ North Carolinians. Lawmakers and Governor Cooper have failed to resolve the problems with HB2 by doubling down on discrimination. Once again, the North Carolina General Assembly has enshrined discrimination into North Carolina law."
"This bill and those like it are based on the vicious lie that trans people represent some type of danger to others," said NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling. "When, in fact, there are thousands of school children who have been terrorized by HB 2, and thousands of parents constantly worried about the safety of their children. The best thing North Carolina can do is to simply repeal HB 2 outright, not this outrageously veiled attack on anti-discrimination."
The legislation passed today would effectively ban LGBTQ non-discrimination protections statewide through 2020 and permanently bar cities from passing laws that ensure transgender people can access facilities in accordance with their identity. Tellingly, last night former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the discriminatory HB2 into law and lost his seat because of it last fall, endorsed the proposal, as has the designated anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council.
The new legislation's attempt to further prohibit municipalities from passing other employment provisions, including LGBTQ non-discrimination protections, as well as the provision restricting protections for transgender people in restrooms and other facilities is motivated by the same animus that resulted in a Colorado law being declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in Romer v. Evans ( 1996 ). That decision barred states from forbidding the adoption of non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people under the Constitution's Equal Protection clause.
For more than a year, Senate President Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore have blocked an up-or-down vote on clean repeal of HB2, despite the overwhelming outcry from voters, businesses, and others seeking to do business in the state.
This backroom proposal was pushed in desperation as lawmakers faced today's deadline to repeal HB2 or risk losing out on bids for NCAA championship games through 2022 a decision that will further compound the economic harm HB2 continues to inflict on the state. Just this week, the Associated Press published an exclusive analysis showing the deeply discriminatory HB2 will cost the state more than $3.76 BILLION in lost business over a dozen years and even that likely underestimates the damage.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
Equality NC is a statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer North Carolinians. For more information, please visit www.equalitync.org
The National Center for Transgender Equality is the nation's leading social justice advocacy organization winning life-saving change for transgender people.