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The Daily Tar Heel

Civil rights groups, UNC employee take HB2 to court

Local civil rights organizations and N.C. residents filed a lawsuit against House Bill 2 today, claiming the controversial law signed by Gov. Pat McCrory late last Wednesday infringes on the constitutional rights of LGBT individuals.

The ACLU of North Carolina, Equality NC, two UNC-system employees and one UNC-system student filed the lawsuit in North Carolina's Middle District court. The defendants include McCrory, the UNC-system and UNC-system Board of Governors Chairperson Lou Bissette. 

UNC-Chapel Hill employee Joaquín Carcaño, a 27-year-old transgender man from Carrboro, is among those suing.

“I just want to go to work and live my life. This law puts me in the terrible position of either going into the women’s room where I clearly don’t belong or breaking the law,” Carcaño said in a statement. “But this is about more than bathrooms, this is about my job, my community and my ability to get safely through my day and be productive like everyone else in North Carolina.”

HB2 was passed during a special session in the General Assembly after Charlotte's City Council voted to extend its non-discrimination ordinance to LGBT individuals in February. It also allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.

Legislators argued the "bathroom issue" presented a risk for women and families. The bill passed 82-26 in the N.C. House of Representatives and unanimously in the N.C. Senate after Democrats walked out.

According to the lawsuit, legislators painted transgender people as "predatory and dangerous" during the special session in which HB2 was passed. 

It also states that HB2 will prevent LGBT people from seeking protection under local discrimination laws, thus violating the plaintiffs' constitutional rights to equal protection, liberty, dignity, autonomy and privacy.

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