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Jul 23, 2019

Equality North Carolina Applauds HB 142 Settlement

For Immediate Release

July 23, 2019

James Michael Nichols | Equality NC | james@equalitync.org | 919-829-0343

Equality North Carolina Applauds HB 142 Settlement

The settlement is a mark of progress but stops short of comprehensive protection for trans folks.

Raleigh – A federal judge approved a settlement on Tuesday stating that HB 142 cannot be used to ban trans folks from using public restrooms and other facilities in state government buildings under the purview of Gov. Roy Cooper.

The settlement, stemming from Gov. Roy Cooper and the ACLU, applies only to public restrooms and similar facilities in state government buildings that are under Gov. Cooper’s control.

Equality North Carolina celebrates the fact that trans people will not be barred from using some public restrooms. However, the discriminatory effects of HB 142 remain in place. It continues to be the case that local governments cannot protect trans people’s access to restrooms in accordance with their gender identity unless the legislature fully repeals HB 142. Additionally, the settlement does not do anything to address state agencies’ and local municipalities’ inability to protect LGBTQ North Carolinians in private employment and in public accommodations.

“This settlement is cause for celebration and a step in the right direction,” said Equality NC Executive Director Kendra R. Johnson. “However, it only goes so far to protect the lives and safety of trans people in this state. We must continue to fight for the full repeal of HB 142 and comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ folks across our state and nation. Otherwise, LGBTQ North Carolinians will never truly be safe.”

“Saying that no one can stop you from using the restroom is not the same thing as saying that the state will protect your right to use the restroom,” said Equality NC Policy Director Ames Simmons. “Transgender and gender non-conforming people are incrementally safer from violence and from the health disparities that result from anxiety about whether there are safe restrooms available. However, until the state legislature fully repeals HB2 and HB142, trans people in North Carolina cannot enjoy the peace of mind that local and state government will have our back when we need it.”

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