This past Friday, North Carolina governor Pat McCrory rescinded a lawsuit against the United States Department of Justice that would “preserve the state’s HB2 law limiting civil rights protections for LGBT people.” The bill under debate in the lawsuit, HB2, would prevent trans and other individuals from choosing to use the public bathroom they feel most comfortable in or that corresponds best with their gender identity.
This bill’s passage in March ignited a flurry of negative reactions and condemnations—the United States Justice Department itself alerted Governor McCrory to the civil rights violation in May. As a result, the state of North Carolina filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice for violating the state’s own rights. Because of the law, people in North Carolina technically have to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender assigned to them on their birth certificate, even if they've physically transitioned to another gender.
NPR reports that the “bathroom bill” has seen its support dwindle in recent months. “After months of bad business news and widespread condemnation by other state governments,” people are beginning to realize that outright bigotry probably isn’t a great state-sanctioned move.
The 2017 NBA All-Star game, originally set to take place in Charlotte, will no longer be hosted in North Carolina, and the NCAA stripped the state of its right to host affiliated events, leading to costly cleanup for the state.
Over the summer, a number of states, including North Carolina and Mississippi, passed highly discriminatory laws that targeted LGBTQ+ individuals in their policies and supposed “protections.” Hopefully the backlash that North Carolina has gotten over HB2—and the huge amount of money it's cost them to fight lawsuits and deal with businesses pulling out of the state—will stop other states from following the same intolerant path.
The fight for equity for LGBTQ+ individuals is far from over, though. Believe it or not, HB2 is still the law in North Carolina, and it's unclear whether or not it'll be repealed even with all of the outcry against it. And beyond legislative and federal rights, trans and other people face daily realities of discrimination and hate that cannot be curtailed by legal means. We need to work together to change people's attitudes toward a more equitable worldview.