Commentary

Editorial: Days are numbered for HB2

NO-HB2In case you missed it yesterday, the lead editorial in Tuesday’s Greensboro News & Record (“HB2 is going to fail”) was spot on with its take on what the future holds (and should hold) for North Carolina’s all-purpose LGBT discrimination law, HB2. As the N&R correctly observed in discussing Judge Thomas Schroeder’s recent ruling enjoining part of the law prior to a fall trial in federal court, the law is not long for this world and Gov. Pat McCrory ought to come to grips with this fact. Here is the conclusion to the editorial:

“Although the effect of Schroeder’s ruling was narrow, only giving the three plaintiffs a temporary victory, the judge wrote a long analysis and found virtually no justification for HB 2.

Schroeder, nominated by President George W. Bush, examined evidence of the “legal regime” before HB 2 was enacted: “Ultimately, the record reflects what counsel for Governor McCrory candidly speculates was the status quo ante in North Carolina in recent years: some transgender individuals have been quietly using bathrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity, without public awareness or incident.”

In fact, UNC and some K-12 systems, including Guilford County Schools, were making accommodations for transgender students. But HB 2, under the guise of privacy and public safety, suddenly made it illegal to work out such arrangements.

Privacy and safety are legitimate concerns, Schroeder acknowledged, but they are addressed through state laws against indecent exposure, peeping and trespassing. “There is no indication that a sexual predator could successfully claim transgender status as a defense against prosecution under these statutes,” he wrote.

Friday’s injunction on a limited question is not a guarantee that HB 2 will be struck down in its entirety. That is a decision for a later day. But Schroeder said it’s likely the plaintiffs will prevail in their argument that the law violates federal protections. And his sober analysis undercuts the reasoning McCrory and legislative leaders have used to support their anti-LGBT measure.

It is time for them to repeal the law and begin the difficult process of restoring North Carolina’s reputation as a state that is open and welcoming to all.”

Indeed. Click here to read the entire editorial.

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