North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2 (HB 2) into law on March 23, 2016, the anti-LGBT law. In the new law’s aftermath, a lawsuit has been filed against the state and elected officials are making their voices heard on the issue.
Lawsuit Filed Against North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper and Others
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina, Lambda Legal and three individuals filed suit on March 28, 2016 against the state of North Carolina in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. The suit specifically names Gov. Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper, the University of North Carolina and its Board of Governors and several officials of UNC as defendants, reports TheNewCivilRightsMovement.com. Two of the individual plaintiffs are transgender individuals, while the third plaintiff is a lesbian university dean.
The 45-page lawsuit filing, the plaintiffs wrote, “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 plaintiffs allege that HB 2 violates the 14th Amendment and Title IX of the Education Act of 1972.
The filing also addresses the fact that the legislature convened a special session for the express purpose of introducing and passing HB 2 to prevent Charlotte, North Carolina’s law prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation from taking effect on April 1, 2016. The lawsuit says, in part, “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.”
North Carolina HB 2 meets resistance from individuals, local and state governments and national companies. Will economic sanctions in the form of reduced travel and tourism have any effect on the anti-LGBT law? (Image credit: https://twitter.com/ABC/status/715234358450397187)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Ban All Non-Essential Travel to North Carolina by Public Employees
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a ban on all non-essential travel to North Carolina for any publicly funded travel on Monday night, March 28, 2016. Cuomo explained that the state of New York believes that all people, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, are afforded equal rights and protection under the law. Cuomo explained New York could not sit idly by while “misguided legislation replicates the discrimination of the past. As long as there is a law in North Carolina that creates the grounds for discrimination against LGBT people, I am barring non-essential state travel to that state.”
Essential travel under this ban is described as that which is essential to enforcement of state law or public health and safety.
Earlier on Monday, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signed a similar ban on official city travel to North Carolina due to the passage of HB 2.
Boston City Council voted unanimously this evening, Wednesday, March 30, 2016 to ban all city-funded travel to North Carolina, a measure signed by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. City Councilor Josh Zakim explained, “We are a city in Boston that values diversity, inclusion, and anti-discrimination,” said City Councilor Josh Zakim, who sponsored the measure. “I feel compelled to stand up and be counted at times like this. I think it’s important that Boston continues to lead on this issue.”
Mayor Walsh released a statement that said, “In Boston, we believe that all individuals should be treated equally, and I applaud Councilor Zakim for standing up against discrimination.” Boston’s travel ban takes effect immediately.
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