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ACLU: NC Lawmakers Knew HB 2 Could Be Overturned

A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit - a regional district court for North Carolina - could impact the future of HB 2 in North Carolina. (BrianTurner/flickr.com)
A ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit - a regional district court for North Carolina - could impact the future of HB 2 in North Carolina. (BrianTurner/flickr.com)
April 21, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. – The fallout continues from Tuesday's ruling by a federal court in Virginia in favor of a transgender student – putting the future of North Carolina's controversial new law in question.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit – a regional district court for North Carolina – ruled that a transgender student can sue his school board on grounds of discrimination, and legal experts say it won't be long before House Bill 2 is successfully challenged.

Chris Brook, legal director of he American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, says it should come as no surprise to state lawmakers.

"The legislature knew very well that this case was pending and, instead of prudently waiting and deliberating on what the result would mean on the state of the law here in North Carolina, chose to ram through House Bill 2 in eight hours, and the governor chose to sign it," he points out.

Specifically, HB 2 prevents transgender people from using the bathroom of the gender they identify with and cities from creating non-discrimination ordinances.

Brook says the ACLU is committed to seeking redress for the LGBT community to make sure HB 2 doesn't have any more of a harmful impact on those communities.

Gov. Pat McCrory said in a statement Tuesday that he disagrees with the ruling and says it sets a bad precedent.

Because the Fourth Circuit Court found that discriminating against students violates Title IX laws on sex discrimination, federal education aid could be in jeopardy.

Brook says regardless of an individual's opinion on same-sex issues, all should care about the impact on the state for the long term.

"Everyone, all North Carolinians, should be very uncomfortable with what this has done to our reputation,” he stresses. “We're now being spoken about with Mississippi in the same breath when it comes to civil rights and civil liberties. As a North Carolinian, that makes me plenty uncomfortable."

In addition, as many as 1,100 prospective jobs have been lost to the state, and the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the city has lost more than $3 million dollars in lost business revenue over the past four weeks.


Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC