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US Justice Dept tries to block implementation of North Carolina’s HB2

Joseph McCormick July 6, 2016
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The US Department of Justice has urged a federal judge to block the implementation of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT HB2.

The bill makes it illegal for trans people to use a gender appropriate bathroom in many public places.

It also rolled back local ordinances protecting LGBT people against discrimination and banned local authorities from re-introducing them.

US Justice Dept tries to block implementation of North Carolina’s HB2

The Justice Department wrote a legal memorandum on Tuesday which recommended that a federal judge halt the implementation of HB2.

“H.B. 2 denies transgender people access to sex-segregated bathrooms and changing rooms consistent with their gender identity unless they can produce an amended birth certificate,” said the Department.

“Excluding transgender men and women from bathroom and changing facilities consistent with their gender identity causes significant and irreparable physical, psychological, economic, social and stigmatic harm to transgender people,” the Justice Department adds.

The so-called “safety concerns” on which the criticism of HB2 are based are “factually baseless and legally insufficient to justify this discrimination,” the memo continues.

Despite efforts to have HB2 repealed or revised in North Carolina, lawmakers in the state adjourned on Friday, having barely changed it.

Speaker Tim Moor on Friday said the only change lawmakers were likely to approve to the HB2, which caused massive controversy when it was passed this year, was to allow people to sue over workplace discrimination in state courts.

That change was made, but others have expressed concern that the state may lose the NBA All Star game in 2017, if the law is not repealed.

Republicans in North Carolina earlier this week drafted another anti-LGBT law, despite the large-scale boycott of the state over its previous law just month ago.

The state lost a string of big investment ventures over Governor Pat McCrory’s decision to sign the contentious HB 2 – which voided all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, banned transgender people from using their preferred bathroom, and permits businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.

McCrory continues to insist the anti-trans rules are “common sense”, but the state has faced a string of lawsuits, as LGBT groups believe HB 2 to be a clear violation of the US Constitution.

The prognosis is not good for North Carolina, with a judge demolishing a similar law in Mississippi this week on Constitutional grounds, but the state’s Republican leadership have shamefully drained money from other areas to put towards defending HB 2.

Still unsure of what HB2 is? Read the PinkNews guide to the legislation here.

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