Politics & Government

House Bill 2 opponents call on universities, colleges to stop following law

Plaintiff Joaquin Carcano, right, speaks at the end of a press conference that announced the filing of a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina's HB 2 law at the LGBT Center of Raleigh on Monday, March 28, 2016.
Plaintiff Joaquin Carcano, right, speaks at the end of a press conference that announced the filing of a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina's HB 2 law at the LGBT Center of Raleigh on Monday, March 28, 2016. cseward@newsobserver.com

In the wake of a U.S. Department of Justice order, two LGBT advocacy groups are calling on public university and community college leaders to stop implementing House Bill 2.

Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina sent a letter to 75 community college presidents and chancellors. The letter explains the federal order issued earlier this week that called on the state to stop the law’s provision on transgender bathroom use, which the department says violates the violates the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

“We therefore urge you to reverse its implementation and advocate broader state compliance as well,” the letter says. “This is not only the right thing to do, it is the law.”

A statement this week from UNC system president Margaret Spellings said that leaders “take this determination seriously and will be conferring with the governor’s office, legislative leaders, and counsel about next steps and will respond to the Department by its May 9 deadline.”

The letter from HRC and Equality warns that “continued compliance with HB2 makes the University of North Carolina system vulnerable to credible and costly lawsuits on behalf of transgender and gender nonconforming workers. Continued defiance of these federal statutes in order to comply with HB2 places your educational institution at severe legal and financial risk.”

Legislative leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory have said the Department of Justice order is an example of federal overreach, and they plan to fight the decision.

North Carolina repealed HB2 in 2017 but left intact some of its provisions. But with Charlotte’s reputation tainted, the city is still paying to market itself to visitors.

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