The bill was signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory on March 23. House Bill 2 states a person must use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender listed on their birth certificate in public agencies.
The Carrboro Board of Aldermen passed two resolutions Saturday calling for a repeal of the law and affirming the dignity of LGBT individuals. The Town of Chapel Hill used those resolutions as a guide while drafting its own resolutions.
The council’s first resolution encourages all Chapel Hill businesses providing “public accommodations” to provide gender-nonspecific bathrooms for customers and employees, using explicit language against the state law.
The council said it will consider joining lawsuits brought in opposition to House Bill 2 and will send copies of this resolution to the governor, other N.C. legislators and local legislators.
The special session allowed members of the community to give their opinions publicly.
“We thought that Amendment 1 was as low as we could go,” said Matt Hughes, the chairperson of the Orange County Democratic party, referring to the N.C. legislation passed in 2012 that barred state recognition of same-sex marriages, but was found unconstitutional in district court in 2014.
Section 3.3 of House Bill 2 states that the regulation of “discriminatory practices in places of public accommodation” is an issue the state has power to regulate.
Amanda Ashley, an Orange County resident, noted that the power of the council was usurped and she hoped the council would stand up in noncompliance to the House Bill 2.
“This bill makes me feel very insecure,” UNC graduate student Anndal Narayanan said.
Narayanan started the gender transition six years ago.
“Today was my first day back on campus,” Narayanan said. “I realized I have to choose between breaking the law or using the restroom.”
The second resolution passed by the council was a condemnation of the actions of Governor Pat McCrory and the N.C. General Assembly.
Council members Donna Bell and Maria Palmer read the individual names of Republican and Democratic state legislators who signed the bill and called for them to be held accountable.
Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger called to raise the rainbow flag today on Franklin Street.
Hemminger said the policy will not change the Chapel Hill community.
Upon public recommendation, the council requested to amend the resolutions to include the letter “Q” in LGBT, to include veterans in the language of those protected from discrimination and to add the City Council of Durham to the list of governments which will receive a copy of this resolution.
“A lot of it is based on ignorance,” said Michelle Doss, a transgender woman from Hillsborough. “I think I deserve better than that.”