In a ruling Friday afternoon, a court in the Middle District of North Carolina ruled that students would suffer irreparable harm should HB2 go into effect, and issued a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of parts of the infamous anti-trans law. Unfortunately, the ruling applies only to the individual plaintiffs and the University of North Carolina, but it sets forth strong reasoning for why HB2 should not be enforced against any transgender student.
“This preliminary injunction affirms what has been established for years: it is illegal and wrong to target transgender students for discrimination at school,” said Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center. “Transgender students, like all students, should be able to go to school with their peers and get an education without being singled out by school administrators or state legislators for harassment.”
HB2, passed in spring 2016, attempts to bar transgender students from using the restroom that matches the gender they live as every day. The ACLU and Lambda Legal, representing transgender man Joaquin Carcaño, sued the state and asked for a preliminary injunction blocking the law from going into effect. The court today ruled that the plaintiffs presented strong evidence that they would prevail under Title IX, as interpreted by the Department of Education.
In the ruling, the judge looked at examples of schools that had implemented policies supporting their transgender students, finding “that some transgender individuals have been quietly using facilities corresponding with their gender identity” without incident and that, in recent years, State educational institutions have been accommodating such students where possible. He cited the Guilford school district, the third largest school district in the state, which had “not received any complaints about this arrangement from students or parents.” In fact, Guilford school officials were “confident that the privacy interests of transgender and non-transgender students alike could be accommodated through the same means used to accommodate any student with body image or shyness issues.”
The judge concluded of HB2 that “Part I’s blanket ban that forecloses any form of accommodation for transgender students other than separate facilities likely violates Title IX under G.G.”