The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU NC), Equality NC and Lambda Legal have filed a lawsuit Monday challenging North Carolina’s recently passed HB2.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina against Gov. Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper and the University of North Carolina, on behalf of two transgender individuals, Joaquín Carcaño, a UNC-Chapel Hill employee, and Payton McGarry, a UNC-Greensboro student, as well as Angela Gilmore, a North Carolina Central University law professor and lesbian.
Cooper, who is running against Gov. McCrory in November, is against the bill and has said that he will not defend it in court.
“We will argue it is unconstitutional as part of our defense of existing employment policies in the Attorney General’s and State Treasurer’s Office,” Cooper said.
“HB2 is hurtful and demeaning. I just want to go to work and live my life. 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,” said plaintiff Joaquín Carcaño. “But this is about more than bathrooms, 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.”
“We’re challenging this extreme and discriminatory measure in order to ensure that everyone who lives in and visits North Carolina is protected under the law,” said Chris Brook, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “This cruel, insulting, and unconstitutional law is an attack on fairness in employment, education, and local governance that encourages discrimination against thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home, and particularly targets transgender men and women. HB 2 aims to override local school board policies, local public accommodations laws, and more.”
“The governor respects the right of any legal challenges; however, he does not respect the continued distortion of the facts by the groups challenging this law and by many members of the state and national media,” said Graham Wilson, the governor’s press secretary.
The statement ends with, “The governor looks forward to cheering for the UNC Tar Heels in the NCAA Final Four being played in Houston, a city that defeated a similar bathroom ordinance referendum last year with over 61% of the vote.”