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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 10, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 10
DOJ to drop opposition to anti-LGBT HB 2
Section One
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DOJ to drop opposition to anti-LGBT HB 2

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Jeff Sessions' Department of Justice is preparing to drop federal opposition to North Carolina's anti-LGBT law, known as HB 2.

The law repeals all local ordinances protecting LGBT residents of the state and adds additional burdens to Trans people, barring them from restrooms that match their gender identity.

In addition to provoking a nationwide boycott against North Carolina, the law is also the target of a lawsuit by the ACLU and Lambda Legal on behalf of four LGBT North Carolinians and other members of the ACLU of North Carolina.

In August 2016, a US District Court blocked the University of North Carolina from enforcing HB 2 against three Transgender plaintiffs in the case.

The US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit has scheduled oral arguments in the lawsuit for May 10. The Obama Justice Department had weighed in against the state law, saying it violated federal civil rights legislation.

Obama administration attorneys had also filed for a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the law. Sessions' DOJ, however, submitted a motion saying it was rethinking the department's position on the issue and asked for a stay on any injunction.

A federal judge on the case responded by freezing the Obama-era filings until the Sessions Justice Department can submit its views.

ACLU and Lambda Legal said they would press ahead with their legal challenge to HB 2.

'We look forward to being back in court to fight to ensure that all transgender people in North Carolina are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve and that is required by law,' the groups said in a joint statement.

'House Bill 2 represents an egregious attack on transgender people and their ability to participate in public life. While we continue to urge North Carolina legislators to repeal the law entirely, without still sanctioning discrimination, particularly against transgender people, we cannot wait for lawmakers to do the right thing. We will continue to fight for the rights of LGBT North Carolinians in court and beyond.'

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