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ACLU asks NC educational institutions how they will protect LGBT community if NCAA plays venue

If the NCAA is going to host an event at a North Carolina educational institution, the ACLU wants that venue to prove how officials intend to guarantee a nondiscriminatory environment for LGBT people.

The NCAA announced this week that they would consider venues in North Carolina for NCAA championship host sites in response to the passage of HB 142, even though the HB 2 replacement leaves LGBT people, particularly transgender people, subject to discrimination. It also said that potential host sites in North Carolina would be “required to submit additional documentation demonstrating how student-athletes and fans will be protected from discrimination.”

The national and state organization has filed public records requests at universities in Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Cary and Greenville, as well as the following public universities: Appalachian State University; East Carolina University; North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; North Carolina Central University; North Carolina State University; University of North Carolina-Asheville; University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; University of North Carolina-Charlotte; University of North Carolina-Greensboro; University of North Carolina-Wilmington; Western Carolina University.

The ACLU is requesting all information pertaining to potential applications for consideration to host NCAA championship events.
“We’re filing these public records requests because the LGBT community deserves clarity on how these sites can guarantee a nondiscriminatory environment in light of the passage of HB 142,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project. “Transparency is essential given that the backroom deals around HB 142 have only resulted in a status quo that continues to subject trans student-athletes, coaches, and fans to discrimination.”

Under HB 142 itself, schools, state or local government buildings throughout the State of North Carolina cannot have policies giving transgender people access to the appropriate restrooms. Without such protections, transgender people cannot go to school, work, or attend sporting events and other public activities.

ACLU of North Carolina Policy Director Sarah Gillooly said, “The NCAA must stand by its word and demand documentation of basic nondiscrimination policies and protections before further committing to any North Carolina sites.”

The public records request can be found here.

Gillooly was joined on a teleconference call today with Chase Strangio, staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, and Chris Mosier, a transgender Team USA athlete, LGBTQ rights activist and policy consultant for inclusive practices.

They called for a clean repeal of HB 142, and said the measure was not a clean repeal of HB 2.

“HB 142 perpetuates the dangerous lie that transgender people are a threat to safety and privacy,” Gillooly said.

She added that the NCAA made a bad decision in declaring that HB 142 meets the minimal requirements for returning events here.

“North Carolina cities and public universities simply cannot guarantee that LGBT people will be legally protected from discrimination,” she said.

Strangio agreed and said the ACLU’s goal in making the public records request is to hold the NCAA and North Carolina responsible to its students, fans and constituents.

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