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RALEIGH – North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said today that his office “will not defend the constitutionality of the discrimination in House Bill 2,” the sweeping anti-LGBT law the North Carolina General Assembly passed and Governor Pat McCrory signed last week.

In response, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, Equality NC, and Lambda Legal – four organizations challenging House Bill 2 in federal court – released the following joint statement.

“North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, the state's top law enforcement official, has concluded House Bill 2 is unconstitutional and harms North Carolinians without justification. As our lawsuit highlighted yesterday, House Bill 2 singles out the LGBT community for discrimination. That's not only incompatible with the state's constitutional and legal obligations but also our shared values as North Carolinians. We’re grateful the Attorney General stands on the on the right side of history with the many cities, states, businesses and individuals who have come out against this harmful measure.”

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RALEIGH – Today, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, and Equality North Carolina filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law, HB 2. The case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina against North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper, and the University of North Carolina, is on behalf of two transgender North Carolinians, Joaquín Carcaño, a UNC-Chapel Hill employee, and Payton McGarry, a UNC-Greensboro student, and Angela Gilmore, a lesbian and North Carolina Central University law professor.

“HB 2 is hurtful and demeaning. I just want to go to work and live my life. This law puts me in the terrible position of either going into the women’s room where I clearly don’t belong or breaking the law,” said plaintiff Joaquín Carcaño. “But this is about more than bathrooms, this is about my job, my community, and my ability to get safely through my day and be productive like everyone else in North Carolina.”

“We’re challenging this extreme and discriminatory measure in order to ensure that everyone who lives in and visits North Carolina is protected under the law,” said Chris Brook, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “This cruel, insulting, and unconstitutional law is an attack on fairness in employment, education, and local governance that encourages discrimination against thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home, and particularly targets transgender men and women. HB 2 aims to override local school board policies, local public accommodations laws, and more.”

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RALEIGH – Today, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina, and Equality North Carolina condemned North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signing into law a sweeping anti-LGBT measure, HB 2, and announced that the organizations are exploring legal challenges to the discriminatory law. 

“Today was a devastating day for LGBT North Carolinians and particularly our transgender community members who have been subjected to months of distorted rhetoric culminating in today’s display of bias and ignorance by North Carolina lawmakers. We are disappointed that Governor McCrory did not do right by North Carolina’s families, communities, and businesses by vetoing this horribly discriminatory bill, but this will not be the last word,” said Chris Brook, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “The ACLU, Lambda Legal, and Equality NC are reviewing all options, including litigation.

“We expect the ACLU’s and Lambda Legal’s Legal Help Desks will light up with calls from those who suffer discrimination imposed by this law, and we stand ready to help,” said Tara Borelli, Senior Attorney with Lambda Legal. ”This law is in direct conflict with protections provided to students under Title IX and could cause the state to lose billions in federal funds. Instead of solving any real problems, the law would create new ones and could lead to intolerable and unfair conditions for transgender students who are entitled, by federal law, to a safe and equitable education.” 

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RALEIGH – The North Carolina General Assembly today convened a $42,000 special session to introduce and pass House Bill 2, an unprecedented bill that overrides a recently passed LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance in Charlotte, prevents local governments from enacting a range of nondiscrimination and employment policies, and jeopardizes billions of dollars in federal funds that North Carolina schools receive through Title IX. 

The Charlotte ordinance protected lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents from discrimination in public accommodations including restaurants, hotels, taxis and bathrooms. Among other protections, it allowed transgender men and transgender women to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity. HB2, which now goes to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature or veto, removes the ability of any local government to protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and requires all public facilities, including schools, to allow restroom access only on the basis of “biological sex.” It also jeopardizes the more than $4.5 billion in federal funding that North Carolina receives for secondary and post-secondary schools under Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination, including discrimination against transgender students.  

“Rather than expand nondiscrimination laws to protect all North Carolinians, the General Assembly instead spent $42,000 to rush through an extreme bill that undoes all local nondiscrimination laws and specifically excludes gay and transgender people from legal protections,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “The manner in which legislators passed the most extreme anti-LGBT bill in the nation – voting hours after it was unveiled without adequate public debate – flies in the face of fairness and democracy. 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.”

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