(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) A federal judge decided that transgendered individuals in North Carolina are allowed to use the restrooms of their choice, reported WRAL News.
The judge determined that there is no state law on the books that would prevent them from doing so.
At the same time, he agreed with the plaintiffs that state legislation is harming them, and is allowing their lawsuit to go forward.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder sided with plaintiffs who said that the law, House Bill 142, prevented them from being able to seek new LGBT protections.
“While HB142 does not prohibit Plaintiffs’ efforts at advocacy, it plainly makes them meaningless by prohibiting even the prospect of relief at the local level,” the judge wrote in his ruling.
House Bill 142, passed in March 2017 by the North Carolina General Assembly, was a compromise repeal of House Bill 2, the state’s original legislation that barred individuals from using public facilities that differed from the sex noted on their birth certificate.
The original law outraged the Left, leading them to organize corporate boycotts of the state. Pressure from business interests forced the legislature to revisit the law, resulting in the “compromise” legislation. Republicans hold supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.
The replacement bill made it clear that regulation of public facilities was the sole responsibility of the General Assembly. It also banned municipalities from passing “non-discrimination ordinances” until 2020 at the earliest.
The American Civil Liberties Union celebrated Schroeder’s ruling challenging the legislation.
“By making clear that transgender people in North Carolina cannot be barred from using public facilities that match their gender identity, this decisions lessens some of the harm that has been caused by these laws,” said Chris Brook, a lawyer for that organization.
Schroeder’s ruling partly granted and partly rejected a motion to dismiss by state GOP leaders, who had no immediate comment.
In response to the ruling, the conservative NC Values Coalition sounded the alarm yesterday in a press release.
“Judge Schroeder’s ruling identifies the real problem with HB142 – that it does not bar transgender people from using restrooms based on their identity,” said Tami Fitzgerald, the organization’s Executive Director.
“The ACLU is fanning flames of fear and seeks to elevate the rights of transgender people above the rights of the vast majority,” Fitzgerald said. “By allowing some of the claims of the ACLU and transgender plaintiffs to go forward in the case, Judge Schroeder is allowing the ACLU to make North Carolina into California.”