Yesterday, the ACLU announced a victory in their effort to defeat bathroom privacy rights in North Carolina.
The ACLU partnered with LGBT activists Lambda Legal to argue that HB142's ban on nondiscrimination policies—which was the law that replaced HB2—was too vague, and didn't explicitly prevent transgender people from using whatever gendered bathroom they identified with. The ACLU and Lambda Legal also argued that the compromise Governor Cooper and the General Assembly reached that kept cities like Charlotte from passing bad ordinances is a violation of equal protection to transgender people.
On Sunday night, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder gave the 6 plaintiffs the ACLU represented permission to continue their legal attack against the HB142 bathroom law and ruled that HB142 does not prevent transgender people from using women’s bathrooms, even if they are males physically and biologically.
If the ACLU has its way, it will turn North Carolina into California, elevating the rights of transgender people above the rights of the vast majority. When they passed HB 142, the General Assembly and Governor Cooper created uniformity of employment and public accommodations laws across the state, which is desirable to create a friendly business climate and to encourage travel. North Carolina is one of the top states for business and has had record tourism growth, thanks to our legislative leaders. By allowing some of the claims of the ACLU and transgender plaintiffs to go forward in the case, Judge Schroeder has allowed the ACLU to dampen the business climate in our state and to erode the freedoms that North Carolinians have.
Judge Schroeder’s ruling identifies the real problem with HB142—that it does not bar transgender people from using restrooms based on their identity. However, there are other laws that would, and Plaintiff’s characterization of the decision that “there is no law in North Carolina that can be used to bar transgender people from using restrooms that match” how they identify is blatantly false. The ACLU is fanning flames of fear and seeks to elevate the rights of transgender people above the rights of the vast majority.
Judge Schroeder has also put your privacy and safety at risk, as people will begin to use whatever bathroom they please. When Roy Cooper persuaded legislative leaders to repeal HB2 and replace it with HB142, we reminded them that HB2 kept men out of women’s bathrooms; HB142 (by itself) does not. What is needed in North Carolina is sanity—transgender people should have public restrooms and showers to use, but men should not be permitted to demand they be treated like women and given permission to invade women’s privacy and safety by using their bathrooms and showers.
When federal judges can determine that men are women and should be able to invade your sensitive private spaces, federal courts have gone too far! The majority in our state should not be forced by a judge to indulge other people’s preferences at the risk of their privacy.