LGBTQ World News

Alexsenia Ralat

Fighting Against North Carolina’s HB2 

The anti-transgender bill that was passed by North Carolina Legislation continues to be under fire. The bill, which among other things, bars transgender people from using the appropriate bathroom, has some new competition. On April 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth District, which includes Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, voted in favor of a transgender student. The court ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm, a 16-year-old transgender student in Virginia who sued his school district when he wasn’t allowed to use the men’s restroom at his high school. The court acknowledged that Title IX; a part of 1972’s Education Amendments that, thanks to the Obama administration, bans sex discrimination in public education. They affirmed that the title protects the rights of transgender students in public education to use the restrooms that apply to their gender identity.

Although this ruling is a big win for transgender people and allies, Title IX does not apply to other government owned facilities or corporate/locally owned businesses. The other part of the bill, the part that makes the state’s antidiscrimination laws the “final word.” Meaning that cities cannot create new antidiscrimination laws to expand employment or “public accommodations” protections to other laws, like on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Even more are speaking up in response to HB2, The U.K. has issued a warning to British tourists traveling to the U.S. saying that, “LGBT travelers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi.”

“It is both frightening and embarrassing that one of our nation’s staunchest allies has warned its citizens to of the risks of traveling to North Carolina and Mississippi because of anti-LGBT laws passed by their elected officials. It is now more clear than ever that these terrible measures are not only harming individuals and taking an economic toll on the states, but are also causing serious damage to nation’s reputation, and the perceived safety of LGBT people who travel here.” Ty Cobb, the Director HRC Global, said in a statement that he released.

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, has voiced his opinions on the bill, saying that while he does oppose discriminatory bills like the HB2, he thinks that local communities and states should make the decision. He also said, when asked if he would let Caitlyn Jenner use the ladies room. He said that he would.

Although there are many who oppose the bill, there are still those who are for it. Republican Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz says that “Donald Trump has come out for grown men going to the bathroom with little girls.” His campaign has released an online ad that is based upon is view that transgender women are men posing as women in order to sexually assault them. Cruz has obviously not taken into account that if the bill forces transgender men, people who were born female but identify as male, into the women’s bathroom. Or that transgender women are often assaulted by men, therefore forcing them to use the men’s bathroom puts them in danger. According to The Advocate, the U.S. has recorded zero instances where men pretending to be transgender have assaulted women or young girls in restrooms. They did find though that in the year 2015, 21 transgender women were murdered, and a large number of them had been sexually assaulted.

Despite its supporters, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory says that if the appeals court ruling does affect the HB2, he will not go against it.

“As governor, I will uphold my oath of office to respect these court rulings and make sure these court rulings are abided to because I’m sworn to oath to do just that, and I have a tradition of doing just that,” he said in response to the court’s judgement.