RALEIGH (April 19, 2016) — Today’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit not only confirms the right of transgender students to use public school bathrooms that align with their gender identity, but establishes House Bill 2 is in direct violation of Title IX and that North Carolina’s public school federal funding is at risk.
Supporters of House Bill 2 have loudly argued the bill’s opponents were exaggerating the potential impact on public education. But the ruling in favor of student Gavin Grimm against his high school’s discriminatory restroom policy expressly shows HB2 violates Title IX, in turn jeopardizing federal education funding.
It was ill-advised for the North Carolina General Assembly and the Governor to pass House Bill 2 without waiting for the Fourth Circuit to issue its opinion about whether transgender students’ right to use the bathroom of their gender identity was protected by federal law. They made a hasty response to the Charlotte public ordinance in the form of the so-called “Bathroom Bill” – which is harmful to LGBTQ residents, threatens the rights of our local government, and strips North Carolina of its anti-discrimination laws – instead of introducing a period of thoughtful public comment and evaluation, or at least waiting to hear from the Fourth Circuit.
Once again, we call on lawmakers to end this painful and destructive period that has succeeded only in publicly endorsing discrimination in and causing mounting economic harm to our state. It is time to repeal this poorly vetted, unconstitutional bill that not only threatens the safety of our residents and abolishes decades-old anti-discrimination remedies under state law for millions of North Carolinians but now puts the future of our public schools at risk.