Judge chooses not to act...yet

US District Judge Thomas Schroeder heard arguments today on whether he should block enforcement of HB2.

Opponents of HB2 argued that it deprives transgender people of "respect, dignity and equal access to public facilities."

Judge Schroeder was asked to put the law on hold until after the trial on its constitutionality is held in late October/early November.

Challengers to the law include the US Justice Department and the ACLU.

Judge Schroeder asked for additional legal briefs. He is expected to decide in at least a week from now.

Among the challengers is Joaquín Carcaño, a 27-year-old employee of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Though born female, he identifies as male. Using the women's restroom, his lawyers argued, is not an option.

He would face harassment and violence from those who correctly perceive that he is a man using facilities designated for women. During the early stages of his gender transition, his lawyers said in court documents, he was screamed at, shoved, slapped and told to get out when he tried to use the female restroom.

--court documents

Requiring transgender people to use single-user restrooms isn't the answer, they argued, because such facilities are often not available and because such a requirement "is stigmatizing and brands them as second-class members of the community."

Lawyers for the state said the law is a legitimate effort to protect the privacy of its residents, especially young people. The challengers, they argued, "seek to overturn millennia of accepted practice by which men and women utilize separate facilities for using the restroom, bathing and changing clothes."

"Lawyers for the state" apparently neglect to acknowledge that public restrooms segregated by gender only began appearing in the 1800's.

Attorneys for the University of North Carolina said no injunction is needed because its officials have neither attempted or threatened to enforce it.

The law contains no enforcement provisions. The university therefore has no intention to take any steps to enforce the act against transgender people who use university bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

--UNC

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