The Republican controlled House and Senate in North Carolina passed the anti-LGBT House Bill 2 (HB2), which Gov. Pat McCrory quickly signed and the national media attention and economic fallout quickly followed. Chances are this discriminatory bill will eventually go the way of Amendment One. Here are three ways HB2 might become history.
Legal challenge to HB2
The ACLU, Equality NC and Lambda Legal have filed a lawsuit challenging the bill, citing the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX.
The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. It states:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination, among other things, on the basis of sex in public schools and colleges. HB2 requires public schools and universities to force transgender individuals to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate and not with their gender identity. It also overrides LGBT non-discrimination ordinances.
Opponents are also calling on Gov. McCrory to repeal HB2, although he has so far defended his decision to sign it into law. Voters in November will have a chance to choose between McCrory and his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper. Cooper has spoken out against the bill and has said he will not defend it in court. It is possible that the controversy over HB2 could launch Cooper into office, especially as the economic impacts continue to pile up.
Federal override of HB2
It is also possible that the federal government could override HB2, and all other such legislation throughout the country, by passing a bill such as the Equality Act of 2015, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit and the jury system.
Time will tell what happens next, but until then we can guess at which is most likely to occur. Vote in our poll below.