After learning that the North Carolina General Assembly failed on December 21 to pass a bill that would repeal its sweeping anti-LGBT law, members of the North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN) shared their thoughts on the decision.
"As a trans North Carolinian, I find this decision troubling and, sadly, not surprising,” said Liam Hooper, a resident of Winston-Salem and volunteer with the NC AIDS Action Network, in a press release.
Hooper continued, “The cultural misunderstanding of our people, quite literally, places us in daily danger and, often, kills us. For HIV-positive transgender persons, these restrictions make life much more difficult. Many of us have limited access to resources, including health care, which places us squarely into restricted public spaces.”
Lee Storrow, executive director of NCAAN, expressed his disappointment and anger at the fact the repeal was unsuccessful.
The anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2, a.k.a. HB 2 or the “bathroom bill,” “bans transgender people from accessing restrooms and public facilities consistent with their gender identity and prevents local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people,” according to Lambda Legal, which along with the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina and the law firm of Jenner & Block, is challenging the law in federal court.
“As long as H.B. 2 is on the books, thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home, especially transgender people, are being discriminated against and will never feel safe,” said Simone Bell, Southern Regional Director at Lambda Legal, in a news release. “This was a counterproductive exercise in reaffirming to the rest of the country that North Carolina wants to remain mired in this divisive dispute.”
Since its passage in March, HB 2 has been at the center of much controversy. North Carolina has received backlash over the law and lost an estimated $600 million in business, including canceled concerts by entertainers such as Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr.
Although the news of the failed repeal was met with outrage, advocates vow that the battle is not over.
Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said, “We will continue to fight in court for transgender people to access the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity and for equal protection for the entire LGBT community in North Carolina. State-sanctioned discrimination is unacceptable. LGBT North Carolinians and millions around the country are anxious to see an end to these dangerous displays of intolerance.”