ACLU Sues Over Extreme North Carolina Bathroom Law

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other advocacy groups took federal action against the recent legislation in North Carolina that bans advocacy for the protection of members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The law, passed last week by state legislature and approved by Governor Pat McCrory, prohibits members of the LGBTQ+ community from using bathrooms that are aligned with their gender identity. It also bans organizations in North Carolina from establishing ordinances that would provide widespread protections including sexual orientation and gender identity to hotels, restaurants and the like. Republican leaders in the North Carolina General Assembly are contesting recent measures implemented by the city of Charlotte–one of which allowed transgender people to use the restroom that matched their gender identity.

Many corporations and business leaders across the country have denounced the law. The ACLU’s lawsuit was filed shortly after a storm of other advocacy groups threatened to take legal action in response to the North Carolina bill. “Lawmakers made no attempt to cloak their actions in a veneer of neutrality, instead openly and virulently attacking transgender people, who were falsely portrayed as predatory and dangerous to others,” the lawsuit reads.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 1.58.13 PMThe plaintiffs in the case are Joaquín Carcaño, a transgender man and public health expert at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Payton Grey McGarry, a 20-year-old transgender man and student at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; and Angela Gilmore, a lesbian who is the associate dean for academic affairs at North Carolina Central University. The suit argues that the recent legislation is both unconstitutional and a blatant violation of their civil rights. The defendants are Gov. McCrory,
Attorney General Roy Cooper III and W. Louis Bissette Jr., the chairman of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina. After signing the law last week, McCrory backed the measures, saying that Charlotte’s decree on bathrooms was a “radical breach of trust” and that the new North Carolina law would “stop this breach of basic privacy and etiquette.”

“The basic expectation of privacy in the most personal of settings, a restroom or locker room, for each gender was violated by government overreach and intrusion by the mayor and city council of Charlotte,” McCrory said. The opposition groups argue that lawmakers introduced and passed the law in a “process rife with procedural irregularities,” and made it apparent that they were weaving discrimination into state legislation.

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