GOP leaders decry North Carolina governor's LGBT rights deal

GOP leaders decry North Carolina governor's LGBT rights deal

Critics of the bathroom bill said it legalized discrimination of transgender people, leading to protests and boycotts of the state.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit asked a judge to approve a settlement that would allow transgender individuals to use the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity in certain government-run facilities. "It prohibits discrimination in state government - in my office and the Cabinet agencies - on the grounds of race, color, ethnicity, sex, National Guard or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and it requires those doing business with the state through our contracting process to do the same".

The ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina and Lambda Legal are representing six LGBTQ North Carolinians in a federal court challenging House Bill 142, which Cooper signed into law in March to replace the draconian House Bill 2.

"Earlier this year, I said there was more work to do to protect against discrimination and make North Carolina a welcoming state", said Cooper in a statement. But in July, LGBT activists announced that they were revamping their lawsuit to target the replacement law, known as HB142, saying it continued the harms of its predecessor.

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The order will affect 55,000 state employees and 3,000 vendors with up to $1.5 billion in contracts. Legislators in Raleigh left on Tuesday and will not return for another three months.

No Republican leaders played a role in the agreement. Should the Court accept the parties' decree, however, the other discriminatory provisions of HB 142 will remain unless the law is repealed: for example, cities will not be able to pass non-discrimination ordinances until December of 2020, and cities are permanently prevented from providing non-discrimination protections that ensure transgender people can use restrooms consistent with their gender identity free from discrimination and harassment. It also limited anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, blasted the governor's decision to move ahead with the settlement, calling it a "massive power grab" that constitutes "sweeping changes that only the Legislative Branch has the authority to enact".

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