LGBTQ rights groups and others who say they’ll be wronged by North Carolina’s new law preventing Charlotte and other local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules are wasting little time trying to stop it in court.
The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and Equality North Carolina filed a challenge to the law overnight in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
“By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, H.B. 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution,” the lawsuit argues.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Joaquín Carcaño, a transgender employee at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Payton Grey McGarry, a transgender student at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; and Angela Gilmore, a lesbian associate dean for academic affairs at North Carolina Central University according to Buzzfeed News. The defendants include Gov. Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper, and the University of North Carolina.
The new law was approved last week by the legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory. Republican lawmakers wanted to overturn an impending Charlotte ordinance that allowed transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity. But the new law also prevents all cities and counties from extending protections covering sexual orientation and gender identity at restaurants, hotels and stores.
“H.B. 2 was motivated by an intent to treat LGBT people differently, and worse, than other people, including by stripping them of the protections afforded by the City of Charlotte’s Ordinance and precluding any local government from taking action to protect LGBT people against discrimination,” the lawsuit reads. “H.B. 2 imposes a different and more burdensome political process on LGBT people than on non-LGBT people who have state protection against identity-based discrimination.”