Monday, March 28, 2016

Last Call For Fighting The Bigotry

As expected, the first of many expected federal lawsuits over North Carolina's sweeping new anti-LGBTQ law has been filed. BuzzFeed's Dominic Holden and Chris Geidner:

Three individuals and two LGBT advocacy groups early Monday morning filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the recently passed North Carolina law that nullified local LGBT rights ordinances and restricted transgender people’s access to restrooms. 
“By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, H.B. 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution,” the lawsuit argues.

The complaint argues the law violates people’s equal protection, privacy, and liberty rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and their civil rights under Title IX of the Education Act of 1972. 
The lawsuit is asking for a declaratory judgment that the law violates the Constitution and Title IX and an injunction against enforcement of the law. 
The case was filed overnight in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on behalf of Joaquín Carcaño, a transgender man who works at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Payton Grey McGarry, a transgender man who is a student at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro; and Angela Gilmore, a lesbian who is the associate dean for academic affairs at North Carolina Central University. Also named as plaintiffs are the ACLU of North Carolina and Equality North Carolina. 
The defendants include Gov. Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper, and the University of North Carolina and several of its senior officials. 
The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, Lambda Legal, and Equality North Carolina are all backing the litigation.

Considering this odious piece of garbage was only crapped into existence last Wednesday in a 10-hour blitz of bigotry, I guess the Easter weekend made things a little slower than usual for filing, but I'm glad to see the ACLU and Lambda Legal are all on the ball with this lawsuit.

I'm hoping for an injunction that keeps the NC law from going into place while the suit works its way up the system.  We'll see what happens.

Oh, and over in Georgia, GOP Gov. Nathan Deal doesn't exactly want to lose the Super Bowl over that state's most recent attempt at "religious liberty" and will veto the bill pending there

The measure “doesn’t reflect the character of our state or the character of its people,” the governor said Monday in prepared remarks. He said state legislators should leave freedom of religion and freedom of speech to the U.S. Constitution. 
“Their efforts to purge this bill of any possibility that it would allow or encourage discrimination illustrates how difficult it is to legislate something that is best left to the broad protections of the First Amendment,” he said. 
The two-term Republican has been besieged by all sides over the controversial measure, and his office has received thousands of emails and hundreds of calls on the debate. The tension was amplified by a steady stream of corporate titans who urged him to veto the bill – and threatened to pull investments from Georgia if it became law. 
The governor’s planned veto will likely infuriate religious conservatives who considered the measure, House Bill 757, their top priority. This is the third legislative session they’ve sought to strengthen legal protections from opponents of gay marriage, but last year’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex weddings galvanized their efforts. 
It is also likely to herald a more acrimonious relationship between Deal, who campaigned on a pro-business platform, and the evangelical wing of the Georgia Republican party. Already, prominent conservatives have vowed to revive the measure next year if Deal chooses not to sign it.

Expect this battle to continue in the states and the courts for some time to come.

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