NORTH CAROLINA: Justice Department Quietly Moves To Drop Federal Opposition To Anti-LGBT Hate Law

The Charlotte Observer reports:

The Trump administration is taking steps to drop the federal government’s legal fight against House Bill 2.

The Justice Department wrote in a motion last week that it needs time to rethink its 2016 request to halt North Carolina’s requirement that transgender people use restrooms in many public buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. The federal judge responded on Friday with a stay that freezes efforts started by lawyers working under President Barack Obama to block the law with a preliminary injunction.

The Justice Department’s move was foreshadowed last month by the Trump administration’s reversal of guidelines that transgender students nationwide should be able to use school bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

Despite the Justice Department’s reversal, North Carolina residents challenging the law can press ahead with a separate lawsuit, but they’ve lost the dual punch provided by federal lawyers.

There’s more HB2 news from Lambda Legal:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has scheduled oral arguments in the lawsuit challenging House Bill 2, North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law, for Wednesday, May 10, in Richmond, Virginia.

H.B. 2 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, a three-judge panel 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. In August 2016, a lower court blocked the University of North Carolina from enforcing those provisions against three transgender plaintiffs in the case.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, which represent four LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina in the legal challenge, released the following joint statement:

“We look forward to being back in court to fight to ensure that all transgender people in North Carolina are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve and that is required by law. House Bill 2 represents an egregious attack on transgender people and their ability to participate in public life. While we continue to urge North Carolina legislators to repeal the law entirely, without still sanctioning discrimination, particularly against transgender people, we cannot wait for lawmakers to do the right thing. We will continue to fight for the rights of LGBT North Carolinians in court and beyond.”