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CHARLOTTE – Tonight the Charlotte City Council voted to expand the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance to prohibit discrimination in public accommodations based on familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression. Among other things, the ordinance means that businesses open to the public – including public restrooms, taxi services, hotels and other public lodging – must provide equal treatment and access to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

“With this vote, North Carolina’s largest city has affirmed that all people deserve to be treated fairly and protected by the law,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “When a business decides to open its doors to the public, it should be open to everyone on the same terms. We applaud Charlotte’s council members for making their city more safe, welcoming, and inclusive, and we urge municipal leaders across the state to follow their example. Charlotte has full authority to enact this ordinance, and we hope the General Assembly will respect this local government’s decision to protect its residents and visitors from discrimination.”

RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) is criticizing North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for opposing a Virginia transgender male student’s challenge to his high school’s discriminatory bathroom policy that segregates transgender students from their peers. Gov. McCrory has said he will sign on to a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, that is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 

“It’s shameful that Gov. McCrory has gone out of his way to launch a mean-spirited political attack on such vulnerable students,” said Sarah Preston, the ACLU-NC’s acting Executive Director. “Students who are transgender should be treated with respect and compassion – not discriminated against because of who they are. The ACLU stands up for the rights of all students to be free from discrimination, and we urge Gov. McCrory to rethink his misguided political attack on transgender youth.”     

In 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia filed a lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board for adopting a discriminatory bathroom policy that effectively expels trans students from communal restrooms and requires them to use “alternative private” restroom facilities

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LAKE LURE, N.C. – Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA) should promptly rescind its ban on all student-led noncurricular groups, including an LGBTQ+ student organization that was recently formed to promote tolerance and equality for all students, according to a letter sent today by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF)  to school officials.

At its November 12 meeting, the LLCA Board of Directors voted to suspend all student-run clubs after some community members challenged the new LGBTQ+ club. In today’s letter, ACLU-NCLF Legal Director Chris Brook explains that the federal Equal Access Act forbids schools from permitting some student groups while barring others. LLCA has a history of allowing noncurricular students organizations, including a campus Christian organization, Raptors for Christ, that has met on campus for five years.

“The LGBTQ+ club does not seek special treatment,” Brook writes in the letter. “They simply seek to be treated the same as other student groups on campus, a right guaranteed to them by the Equal Access Act.”

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ACLU-NC Releases 2015 Legislative Report Card

Posted on in Legislative News

RALEIGH – The North Carolina General Assembly’s 2015 session witnessed major setbacks for civil liberties for the state, according to a legislative report card released today by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC).

The statewide civil liberties group graded North Carolina House and Senate members’ votes on five key bills, respectively, all of which the ACLU-NC opposed for their negative impact on civil liberties. Three of the bills graded were signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory, and a fourth is awaiting his signature or veto. The group also issued grades for votes on two bills that did not become law and were voted on by only one of the two chambers.

The votes graded were on the following bills and issues:

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