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ACLU & Lamba Legal Challenge HB2 Repeal Bill

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A revised lawsuit says transgender people in North Carolina are still effectively prevented from using restrooms matching their gender identity under a law that replaced the state's notorious "bathroom bill."

The amended complaint filed Friday in federal court says the replacement law continues the harms of its predecessor by leaving restroom policies in the hands of state lawmakers and preventing local governments or school systems from setting rules or offering guidance.

North Carolina took the "bathroom bill" off the books in late March after a yearlong backlash that hurt the state's reputation and caused businesses and sports leagues to back out of lucrative events and projects. The compromise eliminated a provision that required transgender people to use restrooms in many public buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lamba Legal are behind the challenge to the repeal law.  “LGBT North Carolinians deserve to feel secure in knowing that when they go about their daily lives and interact with businesses open to the public, any discrimination they encounter is illegal, but HB 142 robs of them of that security,” said Chris Brook, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina in a statement. “This law continues to invite discrimination against LGBT people, particularly transgender people, and sends a daily message that LGBT people across the state are not worthy of equal dignity and respect.”

“After publicly vilifying transgender people for more than a year, legislators can’t just abandon transgender people to fend for themselves in the toxic environment of fear and animosity that the legislature itself created.  HB 142 doubles down on many of the worst harms of HB 2 and leaves transgender people in a legal limbo where they remain uniquely vulnerable to discrimination,” said Tara Borelli, Counsel with Lambda Legal. “Transgender people face an impossible situation where no door leads to safety.  Anyone would find that intolerable.”  

Under the repeal measure, local governments are not able to pass anti-discrimination ordinances until December 2020 - a month after the next gubernatorial election takes place.

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Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.