At its Spring 2016 Meeting the Women’s Forum adopted the following:
Resolution Calling for the Repeal of HB2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act enacted as S.L. 2016-3
WHEREAS, on February 22, 2016, the Charlotte City Council approved a local ordinance that adds marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to its list of categories protected from discrimination in city contracting and public accommodations; and
WHEREAS, on March 23, 2016, in response to the Charlotte ordinance, the North Carolina General Assembly in special session ratified and Governor Pat McCrory signed House Bill 2 (Session Law 2016-3), the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act; and
WHEREAS, House Bill 2 appears to repeal the Charlotte ordinance by establishing new statewide standards for what constitutes discriminatory practice in employment and public accommodations; and by establishing new statewide requirements for bathrooms and changing facilities in all public agencies, including schools raising a possible conflict with Title IX and resulting loss of federal funds; and
WHEREAS, the omission of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and other categories from the statewide list of categories protected from discrimination means that not only do protections on these bases appear not to be available through state law, but further, that local governments appear to be preempted from offering these protections to their residents; and
WHEREAS, the legislation also appears to eliminate the right of any person to bring a civil action in a North Carolina court for a claim of discrimination in employment or public accommodations on account of race, religion, color, national origin, age, and biological sex (as well as handicap for employment only) and would require such claims be filed in federal court; and
WHEREAS, the legislation is inconsistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, and the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 as amended;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:
SECTION 1. The Women’s Forum of North Carolina reaffirms its support for protecting and advancing the constitutional rights and equitable treatment of all residents of the state.
SECTION 2. The Women’s Forum of North Carolina urges the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal House Bill 2 at the earliest opportunity.
SECTION 3. The Women’s Forum of North Carolina urges its members to send copies of this resolution to their members of the NC General Assembly and to the Governor.
This the 21st day of May, 2016.