The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) joins the North Carolina Forward Together/Moral Mondays movement in calling for the repeal of North Carolina House Bill 2. We are not this.
House Bill 2 removes existing protections against discrimination for LGBTQ people, blocks localities from enacting antidiscrimination protections or minority set-asides, cuts off avenues of relief for victims of employment discrimination, and forces transgender individuals to use the wrong restrooms in schools and other public buildings. Other states considering similar measures include Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
“The passage of HB 2 painfully illustrates that civil rights for LGBTQ individuals are closely intertwined with the rights of African Americans,” said Janai Nelson, LDF’s Associate Director-Counsel. Transgender African Americans are particularly vulnerable to discrimination in employment and housing. A 2010 study found that 48 percent of transgender African Americans were denied a job and 32 percent were fired because of their gender identity.
HB 2 will also directly harm all African Americans in North Carolina, regardless of sexual orientation. The law removes a longstanding cause of action for wrongful termination in violation of the state’s Equal Employment Practices Act, and eliminates the ability of municipalities to protect their residents from discrimination or to use their contracting process to pursue antidiscrimination goals.
Sponsors of HB 2 rely on a false narrative about sexually predatory transgender people who would put women and girls at risk. Similarly false narratives have been used to justify slavery, defend Jim Crow segregation, and uphold anti-miscegenation laws. Courts of law—and of public opinion—correctly recognized that these justifications were illegitimate.
“The fearmongering tactics and purported rationales for this law are divisive and dangerous,” said Coty Montag, Deputy Director of Litigation for LDF. “These justifications are an illegitimate reason for discrimination against any individual, whether because of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis. We call on North Carolina to repeal this discriminatory bill immediately.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.