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RALEIGH — Groups that are representing LGBT North Carolinians in a federal lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s House Bill 2 today denounced a last-minute proposal from General Assembly leaders that would repeal the anti-LGBT law in name only while still including provisions that would enshrine discriminatory measures into state law.

“Legislative leaders need to stop floating bad proposals that would keep discrimination in state law instead of fully repealing HB2,” said Sarah Gillooly, Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “The answer all along has been a clean repeal of HB2. Tonight legislative leaders have made one thing clear: they will do everything possible to prevent LGBT people from receiving equal protection under the law.”

“North Carolina lawmakers need to stop playing around and get serious about repealing HB2,” said Simone Bell, Southern Regional Director for Lambda Legal. “It’s now become a game of he said-he said, but they cannot pass the buck on this. The NCAA has given the legislators a deadline and they can’t continue to hide the ball. We have not seen the language of the bill, but what we heard at the press conference sounds like it still allows discrimination against transgender people. North Carolina deserves better than this: Repeal HB2 and replace it with a real non-discrimination bill that recognizes the contributions LGBT North Carolinians make to this state.”

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RICHMOND, Va. – The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina and three Rowan County residents will on March 22 ask a federal appeals court to uphold a lower court ruling that found that Rowan County commissioners violated the Constitution when they coerced public participation in prayers that overwhelmingly advanced beliefs specific to one religion.

All 15 judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will hear oral arguments in the case during the en banc hearing. In October, the appeals court agreed to vacate and reconsider a divided 2-1 decision in September that found the practice constitutional.

“Our clients simply want to ensure that when they and others attend local government meetings, they will not have to worry about being coerced into participating in a sectarian prayer that goes against their beliefs and being discriminated against by local officials when they don’t,” said ACLU of North Carolina Legal Director Chris Brook. “We believe that the First Amendment is on our side, and we look forward to making our argument to the full appeals court.”

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RALEIGH —North Carolina House representatives today introduced a bill that would fully repeal the state’s anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2, and expand state nondiscrimination laws for housing, employment, credit, insurance, public accommodations, and education to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender North Carolinians.

House Bill 82 was filed by Reps. Pricey Harrison, Susan Fisher, and Deb Butler.

H.B. 2, which became law in March 2016, bans many transgender people from restrooms matching their gender and prohibits local municipalities from extending nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people. The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina, Lambda Legal and the law firm of Jenner & Block are challenging H.B. 2 in federal court on behalf of four LGBT North Carolinians and members of the ACLU of North Carolina.

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CHARLOTTE – Today Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray announced that he will not bring charges against the police officer who killed Keith Lamont Scott. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has said that Mr. Scott was shot while officers were trying to execute an arrest warrant for a different person.

Susanna Birdsong, Policy Counsel of the ACLU of North Carolina, had this comment:

“The district attorney’s decision not to bring charges in Keith Lamont Scott’s killing leaves the people of Charlotte with profound and unsettling questions. How will the city and the police department ensure that this kind of tragedy doesn’t happen again? What steps has or will the city take to heal the community’s pain and do everything it can to prevent the police from causing such pain in the future? The bottom line is, whether or not the facts here should have resulted in criminal charges, Mr. Scott should be alive today.

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