Judge Rules Plaintiffs Have Shown 'They Will Suffer Irreparable Harm'
A federal judge has just prohibited the University of North Carolina from enforcing the "bathroom bill" provision of Governor Pat McCrory's anti-LGBT law known as HB2. The narrow ruling applies only to the plaintiffs, those individuals who sued after HB2 went into effect, but it could have broader implications down the line.
U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder Friday afternoon partially granted a preliminary injunction, ruling North Carolina's "decades-old laws against indecent exposure, peeping, and trespass protected the legitimate and significant State interests of privacy and safety."
Schroeder's ruling also states "that the individual transgender Plaintiffs have made a clear showing that (1) they are likely to succeed on their claim that Part I [of HB2] violates Title IX, as interpreted by the United States Department of Education ("DOE") under the standard articulated by the Fourth Circuit; (2) they will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief."
Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed points out this portion of Judge Schroeder's ruling:
"Ultimately, the record reflects what counsel for Governor [Pat] McCrory candidly speculates was the status quo ante in North Carolina in recent years: some transgender individuals have been quietly using bathrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity, without public awareness or incident."
Law professor Dr. Anthony Kreis of Chicago-Kent College of Law via Twitter adds:
UPDATE I: 6:01 PM EDT -
Comments via Lambda Legal:
"Today is a great day for me and hopefully this is the start to chipping away at the injustice of H.B. 2 that is harming thousands of other transgender people who call North Carolina home. Today, the tightness that I have felt in my chest every day since H.B. 2 passed has eased. But the fight is not over: we won't rest until this discriminatory law is defeated," said JoaquÃn CarcaÃ±o, lead plaintiff in the case.
"We are thrilled that the court put a temporary stop to some of the grave harm H.B. 2 imposes on our transgender clients," said Tara Borelli, Lambda Legal senior attorney. "This ruling is an important first step to make sure that thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home - particularly transgender people - get the privacy, respect, and protections afforded others in the state. As we prepare for trial, we are more determined than ever to ensure equal justice for all North Carolinians."
"We're thrilled that the court ruled on the right side for our clients today and that our clients are one step closer to being free from the discrimination that this harmful law imposes on them simply because they are transgender," said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina. "We're confident justice will prevail in the larger case after the judge hears all the evidence at trial this fall so that all gay and transgender North Carolinians will be free from the harm of H.B. 2."
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