Equal Protection Tag - ACLU of North Carolina http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/Latest.html Mon, 22 May 2017 13:20:17 -0400 en-gb ACLU Opposes HB2 Proposal that Would Continue Discrimination http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/aclu-opposes-hb2-proposal-that-would-continue-discrimination.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/aclu-opposes-hb2-proposal-that-would-continue-discrimination.html

RALEIGH — The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina released the following statement on HB142, a new legislative proposal to address House Bill 2, North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law.

“Lawmakers must reject this disgraceful backroom deal that uses the rights of LGBT people as a bargaining chip,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “One year after HB2 was introduced and signed into law in just 12 hours, it is shameful that legislative leaders and North Carolina’s governor are once again rushing through a discriminatory anti-LGBT measure without proper vetting or an opportunity for public input. The way to undo HB2’s profound damage to North Carolina and its people has always been a full, clean repeal, but this proposal would keep anti-LGBT provisions of the law in place and continue to single out and target transgender people. Lawmakers must vote against this proposal, and should it reach his desk, Governor Cooper should withdraw his support and veto it.”

The ACLU and Lambda Legal are challenging HB2 in federal court on behalf of four LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina. The law bans many transgender people from restrooms and other public facilities matching their gender and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

On May 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will consider a request to block the anti-transgender provisions of the law barring transgender individuals from using restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender from being enforced. In August 2016, a lower court blocked the University of North Carolina from enforcing those provisions against three transgender plaintiffs in the case.

mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) Uncategorized Thu, 30 Mar 2017 07:53:23 -0400
Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Repeal H.B. 2, Expand LGBT Protections http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/lawmakers-introduce-bill-to-repeal-h-b-2-expand-lgbt-protections.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/lawmakers-introduce-bill-to-repeal-h-b-2-expand-lgbt-protections.html

RALEIGH —North Carolina House representatives today introduced a bill that would fully repeal the state’s anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2, and expand state nondiscrimination laws for housing, employment, credit, insurance, public accommodations, and education to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender North Carolinians.

House Bill 82 was filed by Reps. Pricey Harrison, Susan Fisher, and Deb Butler.

H.B. 2, which became law in March 2016, bans many transgender people from restrooms matching their gender and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people. The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, Lambda Legal and the law firm of Jenner & Block are challenging H.B. 2 in federal court on behalf of four LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina.

“It’s long past time for the General Assembly to repeal the hateful House Bill 2, which has brought so much harm to our state and its people, and to take much-needed steps toward protecting LGBT North Carolinians from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity in many areas of their lives,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “H.B. 2 has made LGBT people, who were already not fully protected under the law in North Carolina, even more vulnerable to targeting and discrimination. These new protections would bring us closer to guaranteeing that all North Carolinians are treated equally under the law.”

“H.B. 2 sends a terrible message that LGBT people, particularly transgender people, aren’t worthy of equal treatment. It’s a stain that continues to damage the economy as well as the image of North Carolina and its people,” said Simone Bell, Southern Regional Director at Lambda Legal.  “The repeal and replacement of H.B. 2 with this new bill, a real non-discrimination bill, a bill that recognizes the contributions LGBT North Carolinians make to this state, is a critical and essential step forward.”

Background on Legal Challenge to House Bill 2:

The ACLU and Lambda Legal lawsuit, Carcaño v. McCrory, was filed days after H.B. 2 was passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed by Governor Pat McCrory. In August 2016, a district court granted a request to stop the University of North Carolina from enforcing H.B. 2 against three transgender plaintiffs in the lawsuit. In granting the preliminary injunction, the court found that the challengers are likely to succeed in their argument that the law violates Title IX.

In the lawsuit, the groups argue that through the law, North Carolina sends a purposeful message that LGBT people are second-class citizens who are undeserving of the privacy, respect, and protections afforded others in the state. Transgender individuals, in particular, are expelled from public life through H.B. 2’s mandate that they be forced out of restrooms and changing facilities that accord with who they are.

The complaint argues that H.B. 2 violates Title IX and Title VII by discriminating against students and school employees on the basis of sex. It also argues the law is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment by discriminating on the basis of sex and sexual orientation and violates the privacy and medical decision making rights of transgender people.

To read more about the case: https://www.aclu.org/cases/carcano-et-al-v-mccrory-et-al

mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) LGBT Rights Thu, 09 Feb 2017 11:52:20 -0500
In President Trump’s First Week, ACLU Hands Him First Stinging Rebuke http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/in-president-trump-s-first-week-aclu-hands-him-first-stinging-rebuke.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/in-president-trump-s-first-week-aclu-hands-him-first-stinging-rebuke.html

This is a remarkable day. When Donald Trump was elected president, we promised that if he tried to implement his unconstitutional and un-American policies that we would take him to court. We did that today. And we won.

Yesterday President Trump signed an executive order that suspended resettlement of Syrian refugees indefinitely, suspended all other refugee resettlement for 120 days, and banned the entry of nationals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days. All seven countries are predominately Muslim countries. We have no doubt that the motivation behind the executive order was discriminatory. This was a Muslim ban wrapped in a paper-thin national security rationale.

The executive order went into effect immediately and so did its destructive intent. At John F. Kennedy International Airport last night, Hameed Khalid Darweesh arrived and was immediately detained. Darweesh worked as interpreter for the Army’s 101st Airborne Division and, according to Brandon Friedman, a platoon leader in Iraq, saved countless U.S. service members’ lives. We don’t know how many other refugees and foreign nationals with green cards or visas might have been detained when they tried to make their way into the United States today, but we intend to find out. We are asking anyone with any information to get in touch with the ACLU.

The ACLU with other organizations immediately sprang into action and challenged Trump’s executive order in court as violating the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. We immediately got a hearing and argued our case. At around 9 p.m., Federal District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly issued a stay, blocking President Trump’s discriminatory policy from taking effect and preventing refugees and immigrants from being deported. She did not rule on the constitutionality of the order, but for now, the men and women who would have been deported are safe. When I and staff attorney Lee Gelernt emerged from the courthouse, we were met with a sea of people cheering and chanting.

I cannot express how humbling and inspiring this moment is.

The United States is a nation governed by the rule of law and not the iron will of one man. President Trump now has learned that we are democratic republic where the powers of government are not dictatorial. They are limited. The courts are the bulwark of our democracy that protects individual rights and guards against the overreaching of an administration that confuses its will for the American public’s.

Tonight was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, one that demonstrates that the people united will never be divided. This is only the beginning. This is merely the first skirmish in a long battle to vigorously defend the Bill of Rights from the authoritarian designs of the Trump administration.

Savor this victory tonight, but prepare to fight on.

mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) Legal News Sat, 28 Jan 2017 15:12:00 -0500
ACLU of North Carolina Urges Free and Fair Election http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/aclu-of-north-carolina-urges-free-and-fair-election.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/aclu-of-north-carolina-urges-free-and-fair-election.html

RALEIGH – Ahead of tomorrow’s election, the ACLU of North Carolina is calling on officials across the state to ensure that all eligible voters are able to cast a ballot without facing illegal or unnecessary barriers.

“We call on all officials to respect the law and protect the right to vote for all eligible voters, and we condemn any efforts to suppress the vote,” said Karen Anderson, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina. “We stand ready with many partners across the state to protect North Carolinians’ right to vote on Election Day and fight any barriers to the ballot.”

Voters who have questions or any issues with casting their ballot are encouraged to contact the ACLU of North Carolina or call 1-888-OUR-VOTE.

In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down North Carolina’s voter suppression law, finding that the law targeted African American voters with “almost surgical precision.” The sweeping ruling blocked voter ID and restored a week of early voting, same-day registration, preregistration, and out-of-precinct provisional voting.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Southern Coalition for Social Justice and other groups challenged the 2013 law that discriminated against African-American voters and unduly burdened the right to vote, in violation of the U.S Constitution’s 14th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act.

mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) Voting Rights Mon, 07 Nov 2016 11:23:27 -0500