ACLU files lawsuit against North Carolina’s ‘clearly unconstitutional’ anti-gay law
North Carolina’s Governor has been targeted by a lawsuit after pushing through a radical new anti-gay law.
Last week the state of North Carolina has passed a law which voids all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, and permitting businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.
The new law also bans transgender students in public schools from using their preferred bathroom.
The bill passed the state Senate by a vote of 32-0 after all the Democrats walked out in protest – and the state’s Republican Governor Pat McCrory swiftly signed it into law.
However, the law has attracted one hell of a lawsuit – with the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and Equality NC teaming up to file a case against the law today.
The case was flied against Governor McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper and the University of North Carolina.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, alleges that the law has violated the Fourteenth Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law.
It also contends that provisions pertaining to school bathrooms are in clear violation of Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, which protects against discrimination.
The lawsuit contends: “By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, H.B. 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution.”
“H.B. 2 was motivated by an intent to treat LGBT people differently, and worse, than other people, including by stripping them of the protections afforded by the City of Charlotte’s Ordinance and precluding any local government from taking action to protect LGBT people against discrimination.
“[By doing so] H.B. 2 imposes a different and more burdensome political process on LGBT people than on non-LGBT people who have state protection against identity-based discrimination.”
Of the bathroom provisions, it adds: “H.B. 2’s discrimination against transgender people based on sex is not substantially related to any important government interest.
“Indeed, it is not even rationally related to any legitimate government interest.”
Plaintiff Joaquín Carcaño, a UNC-Chapel Hill employee, says: “HB 2 is hurtful and demeaning. I just want to go to work and live my life.
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“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. But this is about more than restrooms, 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.”
Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Tara Borelli says: “No legislature should be using its power to require cities, counties, or school districts to discriminate against anyone.
“This law is a targeted and unprecedented attack on the LGBT community, particularly against transgender people, both young people and adults.
“Clearly HB 2 is unconstitutional as it not only violates the guarantees of equal protection and due process in the U.S. Constitution but it also violates Title IX by requiring discrimination in education.
“North Carolina legislators cannot strip equality out of the Constitution and the law.”
A similar law in Georgia was blocked by the state’s Governor today after threats of a boycott and legal challenges.