By Gwendolyn Smith
Monday, October 1, 2018
A federal court has declared that House Bill 142, the law that replaced North Carolina’s discriminatory House Bill 2, doesn’t bar transgender people from using public facilities – including restrooms.
Federal Judge Thomas Schroeder issued the decision Sunday evening, adding that, “Nothing in the language of Section 2 (of HB 142) can be construed to prevent transgender individuals from using the restrooms that align with their gender identity.”
This effectively returned North Carolina to pre-HB2 days as far as trans restroom use is concerned. Transgender people in the state may use restrooms that match their self-identity, not based on, for example, their birth certificate.
The ACLU and Lambda Legal represent the six plaintiffs in the case.
“I am relieved to finally have the court unequivocally say that there is no law in North Carolina that can be used to bar transgender people from using restrooms that match who we are,” said Joaquin Carcaño, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, said.
“For the past two and a half years, I have been unable to use restrooms in my home state without worrying that I will be subject to discrimination, harassment, or even arrest.”
“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,” said Lambda Legal Counsel Tara Borelli.
“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.”