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UNC system barred from enforcing HB2 on 3 plaintiffs

Joaquin Carcano is a transgender UNC-Chapel Hill employee who is partking in a lawsuit against House Bill 2.
Joaquin Carcano is a transgender UNC-Chapel Hill employee who is partking in a lawsuit against House Bill 2.

Update (8:53 p.m.): Although the court’s decision on Title IX was a triumph for opponents of HB2, the judge denied the plaintiffs’ additional motion for an injunction on the ground of the Equal Protection Clause.

The Equal Protection Clause is part of the 14th Amendment and ensures equal protection of the laws to any person.

The complaint argued HB2 violated the Equal Protection Clause by discriminating on the basis of sex and sexual orientation.

The judge said at this preliminary stage, the plaintiffs had not clearly conveyed that they were likely to succeed with their Equal Protection claim.

Gov. Pat McCrory’s office said in a statement that HB2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, is still in effect.

“This is not a final resolution of this case, and the governor will continue to defend North Carolina law,” said General Counsel Bob Stephens in the statement.

The court’s final decision is expected in November.

(7:29 p.m.): A federal court decision has partially blocked the UNC system from enforcing House Bill 2.

The court issued a preliminary injunction in which the UNC system is prohibited from enforcing HB2 on the three plaintiffs, including UNC employee Joaquín Carcaño, who have filed a complaint.

The ruling said HB2 violated Title IX non-discrimination protections, which protects students from discrimination based upon sex.

“Immediately, this only applies to those three people, but I think it is a sign of the way this judge views that law,” said Nathan Smith, public policy director at Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

Smith said the injunction is a sign of good things to come.

“When (the judge’s) final decision comes out in November, I think that it will be a much broader decision that applies to the system overall,” he said.

Carcaño, lead plaintiff in the case against HB2, said the injunction is a step in the right direction.

“Today is a great day for me and hopefully this is the start to chipping away at the injustice of HB2 that is harming thousands of other transgender people who call North Carolina home,” he said.

“Today, the tightness that I have felt in my chest every day since HB2 passed has  eased. But the fight is not over: We won’t rest until this discriminatory law is defeated.” 

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