Photo credit: Emery P. Dalesio / Associated Press
By Associated Press
Gay and transgender rights supporters wasted little time in challenging a new North Carolina law, filing a federal lawsuit Monday that called it discriminatory and said it singles out LGBT people for “disfavored treatment.”
The law, which has also drawn strong opposition from major corporations including Apple and Google, was signed by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory last week. The GOP-controlled legislature passed the law in response to a broad Charlotte ordinance that allowed transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity. The new state law also prevents all cities and counties from extending protections to cover sexual orientation and gender identity at restaurants, hotels and stores.
“By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, [the new law] violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution,” the lawsuit said.
With the law, North Carolina became the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their gender on their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
Advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights say state legislators demonized them with bogus claims about bathroom risks. Supporters say the new law protects all people from having to share bathrooms with people who make them feel unsafe.
Two transgender people, a lesbian law professor and several civil liberties groups sued.
Lawsuit defendants include McCrory and the University of North Carolina system, where one plaintiff works and another attends college. The system’s 17 campuses also must comply with the law.
Source: Los Angeles Times