The NCAA has announced it will move its seven championship events out of North Carolina in response to the state’s decision to pass the anti-LGBT law known as HB 2, or the “bathroom bill.” The law nullifies ordinances protecting LGBT people from discrimination and prohibits transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio says it is encouraging to see sports organizations and corporations responding to the mobilization efforts of the trans community and their allies.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to switch gears and ask you about what’s happening in North Carolina. You’re an ACLU lawyer, very involved with this case. The NCAA has announced it’s moving its seven championship events out of North Carolina for this coming academic year, following North Carolina’s decision to pass the anti-LGBT law known as HB 2, or the “bathroom bill.” The law nullifies ordinances protecting LGBT people from discrimination and prohibits transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. The ACLU is suing to overturn the law. Can you talk about what’s happening and what has developed?
CHASE STRANGIO: So, the ACLU and Lambda Legal have a lawsuit challenging HB 2, as does the United States against North Carolina. We have had a partial preliminary injunction, so the law cannot be enforced by UNC against our three individual transgender clients, and the case will be moving forward to trial, and we will also appeal part of the case to the Fourth Circuit.
But right now what we’re looking at is, right before the election, you have Governor McCrory and the other legislators really digging in, defending this law. And you have increased momentum from the business community and, in particular, athletic institutions—the NCAA, the NBA—saying, “We’re going to pull our events from North Carolina.” Obviously, this is incredibly important, moving into both the election and the state legislative session starting up again in January. It does send a message to other states that if you go ahead and try something like HB 2, you are likely to face the severe economic consequences that North Carolina has faced as a result of their law.
AMY GOODMAN: Have you been encouraged by the kind of activism that has responded to HB 2?
CHASE STRANGIO: It is encouraging to see, you know, corporations standing up and others withdrawing support from North Carolina. That’s obviously an important message to other states. I think what’s most encouraging, of course, is the incredible mobilization of the trans community and allies on the ground. You have the local NAACP and the Moral—led by Reverend Barber, and the Moral Mondays actually bringing attention to the ways in which this type of action by North Carolina’s state Legislature is deeply connected to the other restrictive voting rights measures, the racism that you see coming out of that North Carolina General Assembly. And so, what we’re having is a real mobilization across movements to recognize the ways in which the most vulnerable people are being policed and shut out of public life.