McCrory’s HB2 Draws Rebuke from American Academy of Pediatrics; AAP Calls for Repeal of Harmful Law

by Stephen Peters

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, called on North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and state lawmakers to heed a warning from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about the dangers HB2 poses to youth across the state. This morning, the AAP called for Governor McCrory and state legislative leaders to repeal the vicious HB2 bill they rammed through the state legislature last month. In a release from the AAP and its North Carolina chapter, leaders from the nationally-recognized children’s health and welfare organization specifically condemn the discriminatory provision in the new law that further marginalizes transgender students by preventing them from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity, in violation of federal law.

Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP, executive director and chief executive officer of the AAPsaid, "The message some public leaders have chosen is not the message we should be telling transgender children and teens. The message of the American Academy of Pediatrics to transgender youth is this: we support you, and we will speak up for you. And so today, we do. We urge the governor of North Carolina and all other states considering similar measures to reconsider and repeal these harmful policies, and in so doing, stand up for transgender children."

“Today, the well respected, nonpartisan American Academy of Pediatrics called for the immediate repeal of HB2,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Governor McCrory and state legislative leaders should listen to the overwhelming bipartisan chorus calling for the repeal of this shameful law before more harm is inflicted upon the state and its people.”

Earlier this month, HRC released a new video from health care professionals speaking out against this type of dangerous and appalling legislation targeting transgender students. As anti-equality activists across the country push for laws targeting transgender youth and adults, these experts – including pediatricians, a social worker, therapist, and family physician – who work with transgender youth and their families are speaking out, challenging harmful myths and stereotypes, and showing their support for transgender youth.

In an open letter released by HRC in February, the AAP also joined other major national health, education, and child advocacy groups – including the American Counseling Association, the American School Counselor Association, the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Social Workers, and the National Education Association – in expressing their grave concerns and objections to this type of legislation and urging governors across the country to reject them if they reach their desk.

Gov. Pat McCrory and state lawmakers are under increasingly intense pressure to repeal the discriminatory HB 2 in next week’s legislative session. Mayors and governors across the country are banning travel to the state, musicians are cancelling concerts, and the New York Times editorial board called North Carolina a “pioneer in bigotry.” Major film studios and corporations, from PayPal to Deutsche Bank, have stopped investments in the state because of the new law. More than 160 major CEOs and business leaders are calling on Gov. McCrory and state lawmakers to repeal the discriminatory law.

HB 2 has eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents such protections from being passed by cities in the future. In addition, the legislation prevents transgender students in public schools from using restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity. It also compels the same type of discrimination against transgender people to take place in publicly-owned buildings, including in public universities, major airports, and convention centers. Further, HB 2 revokes the ability to sue under state employment non-discrimination law on the basis of any protected characteristic, including race, religion, national origin, and sex.  Lawmakers passed the legislation in a hurried, single-day session, and Governor McCrory quickly signed it into law in the dead of night. The discriminatory law is already facing a legal challenge, and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said he will refuse to defend it in court.

North Carolina has the unfortunate distinction of becoming the first state in the country to enact a law attacking transgender students, even after similar proposals were rejected across the country this year -- including a high-profile veto by the Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota. North Carolina school districts that comply with the law will now be in direct violation of Title IX, subjecting the school districts to massive liability and putting an estimated $4.5 billion of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as funding received by schools from other federal agencies, at risk. This section of HB 2 offers costly supposed solutions to non-existent problems, and it forces schools to choose between complying with federal law -- plus doing the right thing for their students -- or complying with a state law that violates students’ civil rights. Read more about how this bill puts federal funding at risk here.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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