No hurry. It's only equal rights at stake.

US Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake has delayed federal court proceedings concerning the North Carolina HB2 law for six months "while the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether to hear a Virginia case on transgender restroom access."

Instead of a court date in November as had been scheduled, the case will be pushed back to next May.

The so-called HB2 law requires transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond with the sex on their birth certificate, not their gender identity. It also limits other antidiscrimination protections for LGBT people.

The Republican leaders had asked the court to halt the proceedings while the Supreme Court decides if it will take the Virginia case (G.G. v Gloucester County School District), which centers around a transgender high school student who is asking officials to allow him to use a male restroom.

ACLU lawyer James Esseks says the ACLU got behind the request for delay because it wants to give the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals time to consider a request to expand a favorable ruling allowing the plaintiffs in the case to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity to all transgender people in the state, not just those who are involved in the lawsuit.

Judge Thomas D. Schroeder of Federal District Court partly granted a preliminary injunction for three transgender plaintiffs, saying they have a strong chance of proving their arguments that H.B. 2 violates Title IX, a federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in educational institutions.

However, Judge Schroeder said the plaintiffs had not shown that they were likely to succeed with their claim that H.B. 2 also violates constitutional equal protection rights, and he reserved judgment on another constitutional claim related to due process.

Transgender residents are asking the 4th Circuit to rule in their favor on the equal protection claim according to their lawyers.




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