After North Carolina Republicans failed on Wednesday to pass a full repeal of H.B. 2, an anti-LGBT measure, civil rights groups immediately promised to take legal steps to challenge the law.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) December 22, 2016
H.B. 2 prohibits transgender people in North Carolina from using bathrooms matching their gender identity. It also restricts cities from implementing nondiscrimination ordinances.
Almost instantly, the ACLU and other civil rights groups promised to wage a legal war against North Carolina Republicans, calling their behavior “a shame.”
James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project, had this to say:
It is a shame that North Carolina’s General Assembly is refusing to clean up the mess they made. The support for the LGBT community from political leaders, faith leaders, businesses, and everyday people that has emerged this year will not fade. These attempts to expel transgender people from public life will not be tolerated. The legislature may not be willing to undo their unconstitutional overreach and respect the rights of LGBT people, so we’ll just have to see them in court.
GOP Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision to sign H.B. 2 into law earlier this year sparked a national backlash which led to the state losing more than $600 million in revenue from businesses who refused to invest in North Carolina.
It also very likely contributed to McCrory losing the governorship last month to Democrat Roy Cooper when other Republicans, including Sen. Richard Burr and GOP nominee Donald Trump, were able to easily win their contests in the state.
Wednesday’s failure by Republicans to fully repeal the law will only prolong this battle.
“We will continue to fight in court for transgender people to access the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity and for equal protection for the entire LGBT community in North Carolina,” said Chris Brook of the North Carolina ACLU. “LGBT North Carolinians and millions around the country are anxious to see an end to these dangerous displays of intolerance.”
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.