Groups file lawsuit challenging NC discrimination law; McCrory says NC target of ‘smear campaign’

A group chained themselves together in the middle of Blount Street.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The American Civil Liberties Union and other gay-rights advocates have filed a federal lawsuit challenging HB2 after Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill into law Wednesday night.

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“We’re challenging this extreme and discriminatory measure in order to ensure that everyone who lives in and visits North Carolina is protected under the law,” said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “… HB2 aims to override local school board policies, local public accommodations laws, and more.”

On Wednesday, the North Carolina General Assembly overrode a Charlotte ordinance set to take effect April 1 that impacts transgender people. Charlotte’s ordinance would have allowed transgender people to use the restroom of their gender identity.

WEB EXTRA: Click here to read the full lawsuit

The lawsuit drew a sharp response from McCrory.

“There’s a very well-coordinated campaign, a national campaign, which is distorting the truth, which is frankly smearing our state in an inaccurate way,” McCrory said at an event in Clayton.

McCrory called the bill “a basic common sense bill which allows businesses to determine their own restroom and show and locker room facilities, not government.”

The new law requires public schools, colleges and government agencies to designate bathrooms for people based on their biological sex.

“HB2 is hurtful and demeaning. I just want to go to work and live my life. This law puts me in the terrible position of either going into the women’s room where I clearly don’t belong or breaking the law,” said plaintiff Joaquín Carcaño.

“But this is about more than bathrooms, this is about my job, my community, and my ability to get safely through my day and be productive like everyone else in North Carolina.”

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Plaintiffs say billions in Title IX funds could be in jeopardy in North Carolina, but Republican lawmakers dispute that.

In a response Monday afternoon, Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore said:

“While they’ve accused the state of disrespecting local control, the irony is far-left groups like the national ACLU, their out-of-state lawyers and Attorney General Roy Cooper  want to use North Carolina as a pawn in their extreme agenda to force women and young girls to welcome grown men into their bathrooms and locker rooms nationwide.

“This lawsuit takes this debate out of the hands of voters and instead attempts to argue with a straight face that there is a previously undiscovered ‘right’ in the U.S. Constitution for men to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms – but we are confident the court will find the General Assembly acted properly in accordance with existing state and federal law.”

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