ACLU, Lambda Legal Seek Greater Relief for Transgender North Carolinians Harmed by H.B. 2
WINSTON-SALEM, NC – LGBT rights groups challenging North Carolina’s House Bill 2, the state law that bans many transgender people from restrooms that match their gender, today announced they will appeal part of a Friday district court ruling in order to seek broader relief for all transgender people in North Carolina before the case heads to a full trial.
On Friday, a district court judge blocked the University of North Carolina from enforcing the law against three transgender plaintiffs in the case and found that the challengers are likely to succeed in their argument that the law violates Title IX. In a notice of appeal filed today, the groups challenging the law announced plans to ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to extend that ruling more broadly in order to protect all transgender people in North Carolina from the harms imposed by H.B. 2.
“We are thrilled that H.B. 2 is starting to crumble and relieved for our clients who have had a huge burden lifted as a result of the court’s Friday ruling,” said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “But we know the harmful effects of H.B. 2 are far reaching, and that is why we are seeking broader relief for the thousands of transgender people who call North Carolina home.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, Lambda Legal and the law firm of Jenner & Block are challenging the law in federal court on behalf of six LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina.
“Though the district court importantly recognized the serious harm to three of our clients as a result of H.B. 2, that recognition unfortunately didn’t extend to a ruling rectifying those harms for other transgender individuals in North Carolina,” said Tara Borelli, Lambda Legal senior attorney. “We are optimistic that H.B. 2’s days are numbered and are appealing Friday’s ruling in order to bring relief to all those who live in or visit North Carolina.”
The ACLU and Lambda Legal lawsuit, Carcaño v. McCrory, was filed days after H.B. 2 was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed by Governor Pat McCrory. In the lawsuit, the groups argue that through the law, 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 and that transgender individuals, in particular, are expelled from public life through H.B. 2’s mandate that they be forced out of restrooms and changing facilities that accord with who they are.
The complaint argues that H.B. 2 violates Title IX by discriminating against students and school employees on the basis of sex. It also argues 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 and violates the privacy and medical decision making rights of transgender people.
To read more about the case: https://www.aclu.org/cases/carcano-et-al-v-mccrory-et-al.