After North Carolina Executive Order, ACLU Suit All About Bathrooms
Yesterday, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory issued an executive order to respond to LGBT and ACLU concerns regarding North Carolina HB 2 law that addresses issues of sexuality and safety after the City of Charlotte tried to make it legal for men to enter women’s bathrooms, shower rooms and locker rooms. In his order, Gov. McCrory reiterated that private businesses like PayPal and Apple remain free to make their own decisions about restroom facilities and hiring practices free from government interference. Gov. McCrory’s order added “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” to the list of protected classifications for government employees, which was not part of HB 2.
The ACLU has called the order, “a poor effort to save face” and is continuing its lawsuit challenging the HB 2 law. While others such as the Mayor of Charlotte stated she was “[p]leased to see movement” on the issue.
Jonathan Saenz, President and Attorney of Texas Values issued this statement:
“Gov. McCrory has spent meaningful time in person listening to those concerned about HB 2 and then made his recommendations about how to respect privacy and equality. The way the ACLU has immediately responded to the executive order clearly shows that the remaining conflict is about the ACLU’s demand that men be able to enter women’s bathrooms, shower rooms and locker rooms. The discussion about North Carolina’s HB 2 is a valuable debate we are all engaged in and we are encouraged that so many people across the country have been public about their legitimate concerns for safety in bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. The general public has a lot of questions and concerns about laws like the one passed in Charlotte, that allows men to enter women’s bathrooms, shower rooms and locker rooms, and rightly so. In 2014, Ontario passed a law that allowed men into women’s restrooms, similar to the now overturned Charlotte and Houston bathroom ordinances. Ontario’s law permitted a sexual offender claiming to be transgender to go into a woman’s homeless shelter where he then assaulted two women. Another man in Seattle used a similar bathroom bill to enter a locker room at a local pool where girls were changing for swim practice. These are real threats against our women and children that should never be taken lightly.”
Gov. McCrory’s order reiterates that private businesses are free to set their own non-discrimination policies. These businesses can make their own decisions in regards to restrooms, locker rooms, and employment policies – free from government interference.
Gov. McCrory gave this explanation of his order,
“First, it maintains common sense gender-specific restroom and locker room facilities in government buildings and in our schools, and when possible, encourages reasonable accommodations for families and those who have unique or special circumstances… Second, the private sector can make its own policy with regard to restrooms, locker rooms and/or shower facilities… Third, I have affirmed the private sector and local government’s right to establish its own non-discrimination employment policies. And fourth, as governor, I have expanded our state equal employment opportunity policy to clarify that sexual orientation and gender identity are included. And fifth, I will immediately seek legislation in the upcoming short session to reinstate the right to sue for discrimination in North Carolina state courts.”