A federal lawsuit has put to challenge the new state law in North Carolina which forces transgender people to use the public bathrooms according to the sex shown on their birth certificates. The new law is being used as an overturning legal power for a local decision aimed to do the opposite.
The plaintiffs, a coalition of individuals and civil liberties groups, argued that the bill approved on Wednesday by the Republican majorities in the General Assembly, and also signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, violated the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination laws, as reported by the New York Times.
State lawmakers also issued a legal action to prohibit local government from enacting anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The recently made decisions have brought criticisms from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy groups and well-known companies like American Airlines, Apple and Google.
The law has been defended by Republican lawmakers who argued that the decision was a common-sense response to radical overreach by the city council in Charlotte, the city responsible for the previous anti-discrimination protection for gay and transgender people.
“Our national partners have told us that this is the most sweeping and the most dangerous anti-L.G.B.T. bill they have seen at least this session, and in quite a while,” said Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina, a gay rights group.
The bill was presented and approved in a matter of hours in front of the state General Assembly during a special session last week, which aimed to take up the bill at a cost of $42,000, held no hearing and allowed little debate about it.
Republicans supported the bill unanimously even though Democrats walked out in protest. It also had the immediate support of Gov. McCrory, who is running for reelection this year.
Some conservatives complained that the ordinance made by the city council in Charlotte would endanger women and girls by allowing people who are anatomically male to user their restrooms. As a response, transgender advocates dismissed it as nonsenses saying that transgender people have been using their chosen bathrooms for years without incident.
The state allows people to change the sex on their birth certificate if they underwent gender reassignment surgery, a procedure that most transgender people do not go through.
Source: The New York Times