LGBTQ People Sue North Carolina Over New 'Bathroom Bill'

They feel the state's HB 2 replacement is still problematic.
Some of North Carolina's transgender residents are speaking out against the state's House Bill 142. 
Some of North Carolina's transgender residents are speaking out against the state's House Bill 142. 

A group of LGBTQ people took action in a North Carolina court on Friday, filing a lawsuit in response to HB 142, a troubling piece of legislation passed by the state earlier this year.

The lawsuit, backed by a handful of plaintiffs, the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, is an expansion of a similar suit filed against the state’s infamous House Bill 2, or HB 2, in 2016.

The plaintiffs include transgender Raleigh resident Madeline “Maddy” Goss, bisexual HIV activist Quinton Harper, UNC-Chapel Hill employee Joaquín Carcaño, UNC-Greensboro student Payton McGarry and North Carolina Central University law professor Angela Gilmore.

The expanded suit targets HB 142 ― HB2′s “discriminatory replacement” ― which, they claim, fails to address many of the harmful components of its predecessor. 

Passed by former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, HB 2 institutionalized discrimination against transgender people by forcing them to use the public restroom that corresponds with the gender they were assigned at birth. It also set a precedent for a wave of similar pieces of legislation in other states across America.

McCroy’s successor, Gov. Roy Cooper, and other lawmakers passed House Bill 142 earlier this year, a move that essentially replaced discriminatory HB 2 with a different kind of anti-trans discrimination. According to Buzzfeed News, HB 142 did two different things: “It blocked cities and counties from banning LGBT discrimination until 2020, and it prevented those local jurisdictions from enacting ordinances that let transgender people use restrooms matching their gender identity.” 

In other words, under HB 142, local government in North Carolina may not pass or amend LGBTQ anti-discrimination legislation for another three years.

“After publicly vilifying transgender people for more than a year, legislators can’t just abandon transgender people to fend for themselves in the toxic environment of fear and animosity that the legislature itself created. HB 142 doubles down on many of the worst harms of HB 2 and leaves transgender people in a legal limbo where they remain uniquely vulnerable to discrimination,” said Lambda Legal counsel Tara Borelli. “Transgender people face an impossible situation where no door leads to safety. Anyone would find that intolerable.”

Head here to read the amended lawsuit in full.