By Jesse Wood
North Carolina is making national headlines for Wednesday’s passage of HB2 in the N.C. General Assembly, legislation that a Huffington Post blog called a “blood-curdling, anti-LGBT law.”
HB2 was passed in response to and supersedes an LGBT non-discrimination bathroom ordinance that the Charlotte City Council passed in late February. HB2 requires that people only use restrooms in public facilities that align to their “biological sex” (as listed on their birth certificate) and prevents municipalities from creating ordinances that allow transgender people to use a restroom of their identity.
Locally, N.C. Rep. Jonathan Jordan voted for HB2 and N.C. Sen. Dan Soucek was absent.
Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill into law hours after the N.C. General Assembly’s special session, which included Democrats in the Senate walking out in protest. In a statement, McCrory said that the Charlotte law “defies common sense and basic community norms by allowing, for example, a man to use a woman’s bathroom, shower or locker room.”
“This radical breach of trust and security under the false argument of equal access not only impacts the citizens of Charlotte but people who come to Charlotte to work, visit or play,” McCrory said. “…While local municipalities have important priorities working to oversee police, fire, water and sewer, zoning, roads, and transit, the mayor and city council took action far out of its core responsibilities.”
In a statement, Senate Democrat Dan Blue responded, “This is a direct affront to equality, civil rights and local autonomy.”
The ACLU-NC condemned the legislation, noting that 200 other cities in the nation have passed laws similar to Charlotte’s without “negative consequences.” Prior to McCrory’s signing, the ACLU-NC urged him to veto the bill:
“Legislators have gone out of their way to stigmatize and marginalize transgender North Carolinians by pushing ugly and fundamentally untrue stereotypes that are based on fear and ignorance and not supported by the experiences of more than 200 cities with these protections. Transgender men are men; transgender women are women. They deserve to use the appropriate restroom in peace, just like everyone else. We urge Governor McCrory to veto this extreme, far reaching and misguided bill.”
Now, they say a legal challenge is being considered with Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union and Equality North Carolina.