The Fight Over North Carolina’s Latest Anti-Trans Law Begins

It’s been more than a year since North Carolina overturned its anti-trans bathroom law, but activists are going back to court on Monday to fight the law that took its place, the AP reports.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers presented that bill, HB 142, as a compromise after the uproar over HB2, which banned trans people from using bathrooms and public facilities that correspond with their gender identity and overturned and barred local ordinances meant to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Businesses and organizations, including the NCAA, protested the law, costing North Carolina an estimated $525 million in 2017.

However, LGBTQ activists in the state have long been critical of the compromise bill, which reversed course on the sweeping bathroom provision but left in place the same restrictions on local governments establishing anti-discrimination protections until 2020. It also put state lawmakers—including those who supported HB2—in charge of regulating who can access public bathrooms or changing facilities, as opposed to local governments.

In other words, it is still a bad law that sanctions discrimination and leaves trans people in an untenable situation in their state. But the NCAA seemed plenty satisfied by it.

The AP reports:

However, Chris Brook of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina said there’s “nothing hypothetical” about the harm caused by the current law, known as H.B. 142.

“There’s evidence in the record that students in the public school system have been told by their schools that H.B. 142 makes it illegal for them to utilize the restroom that accords with their gender identity,” said Brook, who is representing the transgender plaintiffs.

Unsurprisingly, the Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly is hoping to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that the law isn’t discriminatory or ambiguous.

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