Federal Judge grants stay on HB2, Gov. McCrory promises to keep it law
U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder blocked the University of North Carolina (UNC) from enforcing the House Bill 2, also known as the “Bathroom Bill” on Friday. The bill forces transgender people to use restrooms that are consistent with the gender listed on their birth certificate not their gender identity, on campus and in public buildings.
“Today’s decision is an important step towards rectifying the harm HB2 has done to North Carolina — specifically the LGBTQ people that call North Carolina home,” said Equality NC Director of Advancement Matt Hirschy in a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Press Release. “Judge Schroeder’s decision confirms that HB2 is a blatant attack on the transgender community. The preliminary injunction will provide much-needed relief to the brave plaintiffs, and we are confident that this is just the beginning in an unfortunately long journey towards a full repeal of the worst anti-LGBTQ law in the nation.”
Schroeder’s decision brings hope to Virginia’s own Gavin Grimm, 17-year-old transgender boy who is fighting against the Gloucester County School board for his right to use the restrooms and locker rooms that corresponds with his gender identity.
The Supreme Court’s decision to deny Grimm’s request in early August and the Gloucester County School board’s request for an extension may force Grimm to use a separate single-stall restroom no other student is required to use, causing him even more alienation, for the rest of his high school career. The American Civil Liberties Union, Grimm’s representation, stated that
“The Board’s request for extension of time is particularly harmful to Grimm because it increases the chances that the preliminary injunction will be mooted by his graduation before it even goes into effect,” in their response to the motion for extension.
With this decision from the Middle District Court of North Carolina by Judge Schroeder, people feel that Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision to stand behind HB2 has created a bad rap of the State and may have a negative impact on his hopes for re-election, according to the latest polling data from Public Policy Polling.
Since Gov. McCrory and other state lawmakers rushed HB2 into law back in March, the economic fallout has continued to grow with companies moving conventions, trainings, productions, and other events out of state due to concerns of protecting their consumers and employees.
The most notable hit North Carolina has taken being the recent decision by the NBA to move the 2017 All-Star Game out of the state due to the hostile environment created by HB2, the Tar Heel State lost out on an estimated 100 million dollars in All-Star related profits.
This on top of the hundreds of millions already lost in business and taxpayer funds used to defend the discriminatory measure.
“Instead of wasting tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars trying to defend the indefensible, Governor McCrory and state lawmakers should be working towards fully repealing HB2,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “They should be spending time working on improving education and growing jobs, not defending HB2 and inflicting further harm on the people, reputation, and economy of North Carolina.”
But Gov. McCrory continues to defend the bill and said the local judges decision was voided by the higher court’s refusal to stay Grimm’s case which falls in the same appellate district.
“The judge’s limited injunction only applies to three individuals and is based on a Fourth Circuit decision recently stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court,” McCrory said in a facebook post. “This is not a final resolution of this case, and the governor will continue to defend North Carolina law.”
There are 5 separate cases surrounding HB2, including the U.S Department of Justice’s own suit in federal court stating that HB2’s state mandated discrimination against transgender people is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Violence Against Women Act of 2011. This decision by Judge Schroeder is a step in the right direction to putting a stop to HB2.
The North Carolina governor cited costs of litigation, noting that his state is also the defendant in a lawsuit filed against him by the Dept. of Justice on similar grounds.September 19, 2016
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