facebook linkedin twitter

Federal Judge Affirms North Carolina Transgender Restroom Rights

July 24, 2019 by Dan McCue

A federal judge approved a legal settlement Tuesday affirming transgender people’s right to use restrooms matching their gender identity in many North Carolina public buildings.

The consent decree between the state’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, and transgender plaintiffs covers a wide range of state-owned buildings.

In return, the plaintiffs agreed to drop pending legal action against the governor and other defendants.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroader’s approval of the agreement ends a bruising three-year legal battle over a 2016 law, H.B.2, that required transgender people to use restrooms matching their birth certificates in state government buildings and other publicly owned structures including state universities.

That requirement was later rescinded, but a replacement law effectively put new antidiscrimination ordinances on hold through 2020.

The transgender North Carolinians who filed the original suit later amended it to take on the replacement law as well, saying it only created uncertainty over what bathrooms they could use and essentially voided local ordinances intended to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.

The agreement approved Tuesday states that North Carolina officials have no authority to “prevent transgender people from lawfully using public facilities in accordance with their gender identity.”

The agreement further says executive branch officials, such as the current and future governors, as well their employees at state agencies, are forbidden from using the current law “to bar, prohibit, block, deter, or impede any transgender individuals from using public facilities … in accordance with the transgender individual’s gender identity.”

Governor Cooper and the plaintiffs announced they’d reached a proposed settlement in late 2017. But state Republicans, including House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger, who intervened in the case as defendants, urged Judge Schroader to reject the consent decree.

Among other things, they argued the proposed settlement could be interpreted as an overreach of the judiciary because it “purports to bind North Carolina State officers and agencies, in perpetuity, to a temporary political settlement.”

Schroeder responded in Tuesday’s order, saying nothing in the agreement limits the legislature’s ability to amend the replacement law or pass any other law.

Attorneys for the Republican lawmakers said Tuesday they are reviewing their options.

Joaquin Carcaño, the lead plaintiff in the case, said Tuesday that after “so many years of managing the anxiety of H.B.2 and fighting so hard, I am relieved that we finally have a court order to protect transgender people from being punished under these laws.”

“This is a tremendous victory but not a complete one,” Carcaño continued. “While I am glad that Governor Cooper agreed to this settlement, it remains devastating to know that local protections for LGBTQ people are still banned under state law while so many members of our community continue to face violence, harassment, and discrimination simply because of who we are. The fight for full justice will continue.”

State News

September 14, 2021
by Victoria Turner
State and Local Governments Will Drive Broadband Deployment Success

States will be at the helm of the $42.5 billion in block grants designated in the historic $65 billion proposed... Read More

States will be at the helm of the $42.5 billion in block grants designated in the historic $65 billion proposed for nationwide high-speed broadband within President Biden’s infrastructure bill.  The broadband-related funding of the bill itself shows the federal government recognizes broadband as essential as a... Read More

April 22, 2021
by TWN Staff
New Caucus Aims to Bring Main Street Priorities to Capitol Hill

Eighteen members of Congress on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Congressional Caucus whose intent is to ensure that... Read More

Eighteen members of Congress on Wednesday announced the formation of a new Congressional Caucus whose intent is to ensure that the priorities and concerns of cities and counties across America are heard on Capitol Hill. The bipartisan Congressional Caucus of Former Local Elected Officials was formed... Read More

April 16, 2021
by TWN Staff
35 States at Extreme Risk of Partisan Gerrymandering

Thirty-five states are at extreme or high risk of partisan gerrymandering, according to an in-depth report by the nonpartisan RepresentUs... Read More

Thirty-five states are at extreme or high risk of partisan gerrymandering, according to an in-depth report by the nonpartisan RepresentUs organization. The Gerrymandering Threat Index rates all 50 states, and its authors argue their findings underscore the urgent need to pass the redistricting reforms within the... Read More

Plan Afoot to Extend PPP Deadline to May 31

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 is gaining support in the House... Read More

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program to May 31 is gaining support in the House and the Senate and will likely be voted on before lawmakers head back to their districts at the end of the month. The proposal to extend... Read More

March 2, 2021
by TWN Staff
Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Date Announced

WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the... Read More

WASHINGTON - It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again, but on Monday came word that the peak bloom for the cherry blossoms ringing the Tidal Basin in Washington is currently expected to occur April 2-5.  That means the most vivid of blooms... Read More

Once the Mainstream Model, Michigan GOP Embraces Right Wing

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary... Read More

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Josh Venable, a longtime Michigan GOP operative and chief of staff to former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, can trace the arc of the state's Republican Party clearly."This was the state where to be Republican was defined by Gerald Ford and George... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top