General Assembly Tag - ACLU of North Carolina http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/Latest.html Mon, 22 May 2017 13:24:44 -0400 en-gb N.C. House Votes to No Longer Charge 16 and 17 Year Olds as Adults http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/n-c-house-votes-to-no-longer-charge-16-and-17-year-olds-as-adults.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/n-c-house-votes-to-no-longer-charge-16-and-17-year-olds-as-adults.html

RALEIGH — The North Carolina House of Representatives today voted 104-8 to approve a bill that would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18 for most offenses. North Carolina is the only remaining state in the nation that automatically charges all 16- and 17-year- olds as adults, regardless of the crime.

“Sending kids into the adult criminal justice system puts their safety and future at risk and harms North Carolina’s communities in countless ways,” said Susanna Birdsong, Policy Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “This bipartisan House vote is a hugely important step toward fixing this injustice that now exists only in North Carolina. We stand with a broad coalition of North Carolinians in urging the Senate and Governor Cooper to pass this much-needed measure into law and finally do the right thing for North Carolina and its young people.”

House Bill 280 – which has received support from Republican and Democratic leadership, as well as children’s advocates and law enforcement groups – would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction for misdemeanors and low-level felonies, meaning that 16- and 17-year-olds charged with those offenses would be redirected to the state’s juvenile justice system. The bill’s language was based on a series of recommendations made by a commissioned chaired by North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin, who has endorsed the proposal. Senate Leader Phil Berger has also said the issue is a high priority for the state Senate.

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mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) Uncategorized Wed, 17 May 2017 15:48:45 -0400
NCAA Awards Championship Events to North Carolina Despite Anti-LGBT Law http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/ncaa-awards-championship-events-to-north-carolina-despite-anti-lgbt-law.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/ncaa-awards-championship-events-to-north-carolina-despite-anti-lgbt-law.html

RALEIGH, N.C. — The NCAA announced today that they will be returning championship events to sites in North Carolina for the first time since the state passed sweeping anti-LGBT legislation in 2016. The original law, HB 2, was replaced last month by a new law, HB 142, which continues to discriminate against transgender people.

“North Carolina’s new law does nothing to guarantee that LGBT people will be protected from discrimination” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project. “When the NCAA originally withdrew events from North Carolina, they did so because they claimed to care about ‘fairness and inclusion’ for college athletes and fans. It’s a shame to see that those concerns have already fallen by the wayside.”

HB 142 prevents state agencies, public schools, and local governments from adopting policies ensuring that transgender people can access restrooms matching their gender. Without such protections, people cannot fully participate in public life. HB 142 also says that local governments cannot pass ordinances protecting LGBT people — or anyone else — from discrimination in employment or public places until 2020.

Earlier this month, the ACLU filed public records requests with North Carolina cities and universities seeking documentation that could demonstrate how they would guarantee a nondiscriminatory environment for LGBT people if they are selected to host NCAA events. Thus far, none of the cities or universities selected today by the NCAA have responded. 

Last week, the ACLU delivered over 77,000 petition signatures to the NCAA urging the organization to keep events out of North Carolina.

Anti-LGBT legislators have already signaled their intent to build off of the passage of HB 142 to pass laws that more explicitly target transgender people for using restrooms consistent with their gender identity.

“We have yet to see any evidence showing how the NCAA can ensure basic nondiscrimination protections for these events,” said Sarah Gillooly, policy director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “And that’s because a nondiscriminatory environment can’t exist in a state where official policy singles out transgender people and perpetuates the notion that they should not participate fully in public life.”

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mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) LGBT Rights Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:10:53 -0400
Sweeping Anti-Immigrant Measure Passes N.C. Senate Committee http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/sweeping-anti-immigrant-measure-passes-n-c-senate-committee.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/sweeping-anti-immigrant-measure-passes-n-c-senate-committee.html

RALEIGH — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina is speaking out against a sweeping anti-immigrant bill that would jeopardize students, direct state police to enforce federal immigration law, and seek to punish local governments who enact their own policies related to immigration. 

Senate Bill 145 was approved by the Senate Judiciary committee today and now heads to the Senate Rules and Operations Committee for consideration.

Among its provisions, Senate Bill 145 would

  • Compel the University of North Carolina system to disclose the immigration status of students to law enforcement upon request, potentially forcing schools to violate privacy protections in the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

  • Remove the ability of local law enforcement to use local or community IDs to determine a person’s residency or identity

  • Require the N.C. Department of Public Safety to enforce federal immigration laws through the 287(g) program, effectively turning Highway Patrol officers into immigration officials - the only such active statewide program in the U.S.

  • Withhold a range of tax revenues from local governments that choose to limit their role in the enforcement of federal immigration law.

  • Allow anonymous tipsters to claim that a local government is violating immigration laws, compelling the Attorney General’s office to dedicate resources to an investigation.

  • Empower the Attorney General’s office to determine if a local government is in violation of immigration laws and cut off funding for transportation and other critical projects if a jurisdiction is found in violation.

“These extreme proposals would trample on the rights and wellbeing of all community members, spread fear and confusion, waste countless government resources, and do nothing to make North Carolina safer,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “This bill potentially violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution and could expose North Carolina to costly litigation. But more importantly, state lawmakers should not be in the business of telling local officials to target and single out undocumented North Carolinians who work, go to school, and contribute to our communities in countless ways.”

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mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) Uncategorized Tue, 11 Apr 2017 12:01:33 -0400
ACLU and Lambda Legal Condemn ‘Fake’ Repeal of HB 2 http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/aclu-and-lambda-legal-condemn-fake-repeal-of-hb-2.html http://thatwww.acluofnc.org/blog/aclu-and-lambda-legal-condemn-fake-repeal-of-hb-2.html

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina General Assembly today passed a bill that does not repeal the discriminatory HB 2 law. Instead, it keeps in place the most harmful parts of the law.

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is delivering a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper urging him to veto the measure — although Cooper has voiced his support for the proposal and is expected to sign it into law.

The new bill bars any protections for transgender people using restrooms or other facilities in schools or other state or local government buildings. This means schools, court houses, city halls, government agencies, and more cannot allow transgender people to use the right restroom.

It also prevents cities from passing any protections for employment discrimination or discrimination by places of public accommodation — for LGBT people or anyone — until 2020.

“This is not a repeal of HB 2. Instead, they’re reinforcing the worst aspects of the law,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project. “North Carolina lawmakers should be ashamed of this backroom deal that continues to play politics with the lives of LGBT North Carolinians.”

The ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal will continue to defend right of transgender people to use restrooms and changing facilities consistent with their gender identity, as federal law requires.  The lawsuit, which includes claims for the damages inflicted by H.B. 2, will continue, and the legal team will seek to amend the lawsuit to challenge H.B. 142 as well. 

H.B. 2, which was introduced and signed into law in just 12 hours and without public input and has faced widespread opposition from the general public, banned 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. 

“Lawmakers replaced a bad bill with another bad bill. This fake repeal is an attempt to silence LGBT people,” said Simone Bell, southern regional director at Lambda Legal. “It is shameful to stamp a start date on equality. We demand a full, clean repeal, and that includes comprehensive non-discrimination protections. Do not leave our community unprotected in the name of ‘compromise.’ We urge the governor to veto this bill and we encourage the NCAA to stay on the right side on history.”

Sarah Gillooly, policy director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said, “The governor and General Assembly may be turning their backs on LGBT North Carolinians today, but we are not. We will continue to fight in court for transgender people to access the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity and for equal protection for the entire LGBT community in North Carolina.”

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mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) LGBT Rights Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:32:48 -0400