The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has agreed to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s anti-LGBT “religious freedom” law on May 10th.
HB2 has come under fire for banning many transgender people from restrooms and other public facilities matching their gender. It also prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people.
“We look forward to being back in court to fight to ensure that all transgender people in North Carolina are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve and that is required by law.
“House Bill 2 represents an egregious attack on transgender people and their ability to participate in public life.
“While we continue to urge North Carolina legislators to repeal the law entirely, without still sanctioning discrimination, particularly against transgender people, we cannot wait for lawmakers to do the right thing.
“We will continue to fight for the rights of LGBT North Carolinians in court and beyond.”
In the lawsuit, the ACLU and Lambda Legal argue that through HB2, North Carolina “sends a purposeful message that LGBT people are second-class citizens who are undeserving of the privacy, respect, and protections afforded others in the state.”
Additionally, it argues that the law is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment by discriminating on the basis of sex and sexual orientation
ACLU and Lambda Legal also note that the law violates the privacy and medical decision making rights of transgender people and expels transgender people from public life by forcing them “out of restrooms and changing facilities that accord with who they are.”
It is thought that House Bill 186, a bipartisan proposal to repeal HB2, is unlikely to pass.
According to Pope McCorkle, associate professor of the practice in the Sanford School of Public Policy, the bill has been sent to the Rules Committee, commonly known as a “traditional burial ground” for legislation.
McCorkle added that only a bull undoing HB2 would pass, but that Republican leadership has thus far refused to allow such a bill to receive a vote.