Opponents of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT bathroom law, House Bill 2, petitioned U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder Monday to order the law unenforceable until he rules on its constitutionality later this year. HB2, which denies transgender people the right to use the restroom of their gender identity, passed the state legislature and was signed into law by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory in March. The U.S. Justice Department has brought a case against North Carolina in response to the bill, and so has the ACLU, representing three transgender individuals.
A lawyer for Joaquin Carcano, one of the transgender individuals named in the ACLU’s suit, told Judge Schroeder how his client “would face harassment and violence from those who correctly perceive that he is a man using facilities designated for women.”
Judge Schroeder seemed to be sympathetic to this logic. “We would have people dressed like males, who consider themselves male, walking into the ladies room,” he told the state’s attorneys. “How on Earth is that supposed to work?” Schroeder promised he would “endeavor to make a decision as soon as I can,” noting that school is about to begin.
North Carolina is part of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in April that denying transgender students from using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity is in violation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.