North Carolina anti-LGBT law challenged in the courts

Angela Gilmore (North Carolina Central University School of Law)

Angela Gilmore, a 52-year-old associate dean for academic affairs at North Carolina Central University, is among three people who have filed lawsuits against North Carolina’s LGBT discrimination law, in efforts backed and coordinated by civil liberties groups, claiming it violates several constitutional rights. She is joined in the actions by Joaquín Carcaño, a 27-year old transgender employee of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, along with Payton Grey McGarry, a 20-year old transgender student.

Known as House Bill 2, the law — requiring transgender people to only use bathrooms matching their biological sex and blocking local anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people — was passed by the state legislature last week and signed by Gov. McCrory, all in just one day. “By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, HB2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the US constitution,” the lawsuit, filed on Sunday night, states.

The trio is suing the state as well as the University of North Carolina, claiming the law violates several constitutional clauses, such as the equal protection clause (by discriminating on the basis of gender), the right to privacy (by forcing transgender people to out themselves) and Title XI (which prohibits gender discrimination from educational institutions receiving public funds). “My family, my friends, my co-workers and many more in the state affirm my male identity; that is not something that can be stripped away by a bill such as this,” said lead plaintiff Carcaño. “But what has been attacked is a basic right, a right to feel protected and safe.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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