N.C., ACLU to settle transgender 'bathroom bill' lawsuit

By Ray Downs  |  Oct. 18, 2017 at 8:47 PM
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Oct. 18 (UPI) -- North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper reached a settlement with the American Civil Liberties Union Wednesday to allow transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

The settlement comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU against North Carolina for a state law, commonly referred to as the "bathroom bill," that restricted transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice. The settlement will now go to a judge for final approval.

As part of the pending settlement, Cooper signed an executive consent decree that says transgender people are not prevented from the use of public facilities in accordance with their gender identity."

"This executive order will make North Carolina a more welcoming place," Cooper wrote in a post for Medium. "It prohibits discrimination in state government  --  in my office and the Cabinet agencies  -- on the grounds of race, color, ethnicity, sex, National Guard or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and it requires those doing business with the state through our contracting process to do the same."

Critics of the bathroom bill said it legalized discrimination of transgender people, leading to protests and boycotts of the state. Several companies also protested by canceling plans to move jobs to the state, hitting North Carolina's economy.

Karen Anderson, the executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said the bathroom bill is a "shameful and discriminatory" attack on transgender people, "but under this proposed consent decree North Carolina would finally affirm the right of transgender people to use facilities that match their gender."

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