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RALEIGH – In court documents filed yesterday, North Carolina and the University of North Carolina system argue that House Bill 2 (H.B. 2) – the state’s sweeping and discriminatory law that bans transgender people from public restrooms that match their gender identity and removes legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and others – should remain in effect while a legal challenge proceeds in federal court.

On May 16, six LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina filed a motion for a preliminary injunction asking the court to stop the enforcement of the provisions of North Carolina House Bill 2 that target transgender people for discrimination in single-sex facilities while the case proceeds through the court system.

The individuals and ACLU members are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, the national American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the law firm of Jenner and Block.

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RALEIGH – A bill that would allow law enforcement agencies to shield officer worn body camera footage from public view unless ordered to release the footage by a court was approved by a North Carolina House committee today. HB 972 was approved by the House Judiciary II Committee and sent to the House Finance Committee. If it is approved by the second committee, the bill could be sent to the House floor for a vote.  

Under HB 972, body camera and dash camera footage would not be a public record. Law enforcement agencies would have the discretion to release footage to people who are recorded, but if the agency denies a request to release the footage, the recorded individual would have to bring a claim in court to attempt to obtain the footage. There would be no mechanism for law enforcement to release videos of public interest to the general public other than through a court order.

Dozens of law enforcement agencies in North Carolina are using or have plans to acquire police body cameras, but many lack policies that allow public access to the recordings.

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RICHMOND, Va. – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has denied a request for an en banc review of an April decision by a panel of the same court that found that Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use sex-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. In that case, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of a transgender student who challenged his high school’s discriminatory restroom policy that segregates transgender students from their peers by requiring them to use “alternative, private” facilities.

“Now that the Fourth Circuit’s decision is final, I hope my school board will finally do the right thing and let me go back to using the boys’ restroom again,” said Gavin Grimm, the high school junior who is the plaintiff in the case (pictured). “Transgender kids should not have to sue their own school boards just for the ability to use the same restrooms as everyone else.”

Today’s decision supports legal arguments being made against North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which prohibits transgender people, including public school students, from using public single-sex facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. In a federal lawsuit, the ACLU of North Carolina, American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda Legal argue that HB2 is illegal because it violates Title IX and the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. North Carolina is in the Fourth Circuit.

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RALEIGH – A new online video campaign portrays real North Carolinians in everyday situations – “mundane moments” – that could be threatened by state laws that enable discrimination.

The “Mundane Moment” campaign launched this week with videos portraying lesbian parents, a Muslim couple, and a transgender woman – all real North Carolinians – in various family situations. The videos aim to highlight a North Carolina law that allows government officials to deny marriage services to couples if they cite a religious objection, as well as the absence of any North Carolina laws protecting transgender people from various forms of discrimination. 

The three videos and more information about these issues are available at MundaneMoment.org.

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