In North Carolina, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging a sweeping new law banning local governments from passing laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in public accommodations. The law, House Bill 2, commonly known as the “bathroom bill,” is widely considered to be the most wide-ranging anti-trans law to take effect this year. It was introduced after the city of Charlotte passed its own ordinance seeking to protect the right of transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. In response, the North Carolina Legislature convened an emergency one-day session, at the cost of $42,000, to push through the statewide law HB 2. Within hours of its introduction, the bill was pushed through both the House and the Senate, despite the fact that Senate Democrats walked out in protest. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed the legislation late Wednesday night. On Monday, the ACLUannounced it was challenging the law’s constitutionality.
We speak with ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio about the law’s impact in North Carolina. “It means, first and foremost, that trans people have to live in a state in which they know that their government is willing to actively participate in the harassment and bullying of them,” Strangio says. “But it also means that trans people are now completely unable to participate in public life, because trans people have no idea where they’re supposed to go to the bathroom.” We also speak with Payton McGarry, a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a plaintiff on the ACLU lawsuit against HB 2.
Watch Part 2 of our interview with McGarry and Strangio here.