Governor Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper, Others Named as Defendants
Two civil rights groups and three people have joined to file a lawsuit against North Carolina over HB 2, the discriminatory anti-LGBT law the General Assembly passed and Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law on March 23.
The ACLU of North Carolina, Lambda Legal, and three individuals filed the lawsuit overnight in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, Buzzfeed's Dominic Holden and Chris Geidner first reported.
Citing the 14th Amendment and Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, the suit names Gov. Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper, the University of North Carolina, its Board of Governors, and several UNC officials as defendants.
“By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, H.B. 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution,” the 45-page lawsuit charges.
The suit clearly notes the anti-LGBT animus that lawmakers displayed when they "rushed to convene a special session with the express purpose of passing a statewide law that would preempt Charlotte’s 'radical' move to protect its residents from discrimination."
"In a process rife with procedural irregularities, the legislature introduced and passed H.B. 2 in a matter of hours, and the governor signed the bill into law that same day," the lawsuit states. "Lawmakers made no attempt to cloak their actions in a veneer of neutrality, instead openly and virulently attacking transgender people, who were falsely portrayed as predatory and dangerous to others. While the discriminatory, stated focus of the legislature in passing H.B. 2—the use of restrooms by transgender people—is on its own illegal and unconstitutional, H.B. 2 in facts wreaks far greater damage by also prohibiting local governments in North Carolina from enacting express anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity."
"Like the two transgender plaintiffs in the case, transgender people around the state of North Carolina immediately suffered harm under H.B. 2 in that they are not able to access public restrooms and other singlesex facilities that accord with their gender identity. LGBT people are also harmed by H.B. 2 in that it strips them of or bars them from anti-discrimination protections under local law."
Plaintiffs are asking for declaratory judgment.
Holden and Geidner note that in "17 states and 225 cities with laws banning LGBT discrimination, there are no known instances of the rules being used to defend or facilitate predatory behavior in bathrooms or locker rooms."
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