Big companies back DOJ suit against NC bathroom law

Big companies back DOJ suit against NC bathroom law

Leading airlines, hotel chains, retailers and tech companies are backing the Department of Justice in its lawsuit against North Carolina over the state’s controversial bathroom law.

American and United airlines, the Hilton and Marriott hotel chains, as well as Apple, Dropbox, eBay, IBM, Microsoft, PayPal, and Ikea, are among 68 companies signing on to a "friend of the court" brief asking a federal judge to issue an order that stops the law, known as HB2, from being enforced until a court has ruled on the discrimination case.

HB2 requires people to use the public bathroom matching their gender at birth.

In the brief, the companies said the law’s effects reach far beyond North Carolina’s boundaries.

“By compelling transgender persons in North Carolina to deny their gender identity when using public facilities, H.B. 2 stigmatizes them and conveys a clear message — with the full force of State law — that they are second-class citizens whose gender identity is under-serving of solicitude or respect,” the companies said. “This inescapably tends to legitimize discrimination against transgender persons generally.”

The companies went on to say the law “deeply undermines” their anti-discrimination policies and efforts to create inclusive and welcoming organizations.

Civil rights groups cheered the brief.

“These companies are sending a powerful message to transgender people and their families that America’s leading businesses have their back,” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement Friday.