ACLU files federal lawsuit over NC bathroom bill

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The American Civil Liberties Union announced Monday it is filing a federal lawsuit in response to a controversial North Carolina law that opponents say is discriminatory to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The law, passed by the state’s General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) last Wednesday, prohibits people from using bathrooms that don’t match their biological sex and also bans municipalities from creating their own antidiscrimination policies.

The legislation was a response to a measure passed by the city of Charlotte last month that provided protections to the LGBT community and allowed transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit in conjunction with Lambda Legal, a national gay rights legal organization, and Equality North Carolina, another gay rights group.  

Soon after the legislation passed, the three groups condemned it and announced they would explore legal action.

“We are disappointed that Governor McCrory did not do right by North Carolina’s families, communities, and businesses by vetoing this horribly discriminatory bill, but this will not be the last word,” said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina in a statement. “The ACLU, Lambda Legal, and Equality NC are reviewing all options, including litigation.”

“HB 2 is an undisguised attack on LGBT people and the efforts of one city to protect gay and transgender North Carolinians against discrimination,” said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC in a statement.  

The law has been widely condemned by other politicians, media outlets, gay rights advocates and businesses around the country.

The mayor of San Francisco announced last Friday he is banning city employees from traveling to North Carolina on public business after the passage of the law, Fox News reported.

Businesses such as Apple, American Airlines and PayPal have openly opposed the legislation.

“Our future as Americans should be focused on inclusion and prosperity, and not discrimination and division,” Apple said in a statement. “We were disappointed to see Governor McCrory sign this legislation.” 

This report was updated on March 28 at 10:07 a.m. 

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