A federal court last night said that House Bill 142, the 2017 law that replaced North Carolina’s notorious anti-LGBT measure, House Bill 2, does not bar transgender people from using public restrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder also said that he would allow a challenge to the law’s ban on local LGBT nondiscrimination policies to go forward.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal are representing six LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina in the lawsuit challenging the replacement law, H.B. 142.
The Court held that H.B. 142 partially returned North Carolina to the pre-H.B. 2 “status quo” by repealing language that restricted restroom access for transgender people. “Nothing in the language of Section 2 [of H.B. 142] can be construed to prevent transgender individuals from using the restrooms that align with their gender identity,” Judge Schroeder wrote.
“In light of this ruling, there should no longer be any excuse for discrimination in government facilities against transgender students and employees, who are simply trying to get through daily life like everyone else,” says Tara Borelli, Lambda Legal Counsel. “H.B. 142 and H.B. 2 no longer provide a fig leaf for denying transgender people equal dignity and access to public facilities on the same terms that all other North Carolinians can take for granted.”
Last year, Governor Roy Cooper, Attorney General Josh Stein, the ACLU, and Lambda Legal submitted to the court a proposed settlement that said transgender people in North Carolina would not be barred from using public restrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity in executive branch buildings under HB 142. The court last night requested more briefing on that proposal.