Trans bathroom case settlement and new LGBT+ protections in North Carolina

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Churck Burton, AP.

“Today, we take the next steps as I put into place the most comprehensive anti-discrimination provisions North Carolina has ever had and I submit a settlement of a lawsuit that can help us put HB2 even further behind us,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement yesterday.

“It’s not enough to just say we won’t discriminate, we must show it. And today, after working with the business community and the LGBT advocacy community, I’m proud to act on our shared belief that people should not face discrimination or harassment because of who they are.”

Gov. Cooper announced an executive order to protect LGBT+ North Carolinians protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in state employment. The order also extends to government contractors.

His other action was to reach a proposed settlement in a case against the state’s HB 142, challenging restrictions on the restrooms transgender people can use in public buildings. HB 142 was put in place to replace the much more restrictive, and controversial HB 2.

“We joined a settlement with a group of people who are suing the state and we have submitted to the court a consent decree to resolve that case. For many reasons, it is not in North Carolina’s best interest to remain in drawn-out court battles that linger because of HB 2. As a state, we need to work together to make North Carolina more welcoming, and I am glad that we could come together in this case to show that we agree,” the governor said.

For more about the battle over transgender and LGBT+ rights in North Carolina, visit:
Justice Department drops North Carolina LGBT rights lawsuit
North Carolina 'bathroom bill' reset gets applause and jeers
'Bathroom bill' to cost North Carolina $3.76B
NC governor: Talks continue with GOP to repeal LGBT law.

The proposed consent decree says “with respect to public facilities that are subject to Executive Branch Defendants’ control or supervision, transgender people are not prevented from the use of public facilities in accordance with their gender identity.”

“HB2 had required people in government facilities to use bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates, and blocked a Charlotte ordinance that added anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people,” said McClatchy News in a report.

“House Bill 142 created a moratorium on local nondiscrimination ordinances through Dec. 1, 2020. And it left regulation of bathrooms, showers and changing facilities to state lawmakers, not the universities, community colleges, local school systems and other state agencies that had been setting their own policies.

“Simone Bell, southern regional director of Lambda Legal, which also represented the challengers, said that her organization will not rest in its fight for further LGBT protections.

“’The state-sanctioned discrimination of H.B. 2 and H.B. 142 and the hollow attempts by North Carolina’s public officials to find a solution opened a deep wound that continues to bleed into the lives of LGBT North Carolinians, but the proposed consent decree can be the start of a healing process,’ Bell said in a statement. ‘We will continue to fight for full nondiscrimination protections for all LGBT North Carolinians’, the McClatchy report concluded.”

Supporters of HB2 and HB 142 and conservative legislators, vowed continue efforts to restrict LGBT+ and transgender rights in North Carolina.

Copyright The Gayly – October 19, 2017 @ 2:30 p.m. CDT.