Judge Thomas Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a limited preliminary injunction against the transgender-bathroom provision of House Bill 2 late Friday. Noting that the transgender plaintiffs in the lawsuit “made a clear showing” that they will “suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief,” the court order prevented the University of North Carolina system from enforcing the law.
“It is important to emphasize that this injunction returns the parties to the status quo ante as it existed in Title IX facilities prior to Part I’s passage in March 2016,” Judge Schroeder wrote in his ruling. “On the current record, there is no reason to believe that a return to the status quo ante pending a trial on the merits will compromise the important State interests asserted.”
In a statement released shortly after news of the ruling broke, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, the organization representing the transgender plaintiffs, had this to say: “This ruling is an important first step to make sure that thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home—particularly transgender people—get the privacy, respect, and protections afforded others in the state. As we prepare for trial, we are more determined than ever to ensure equal justice for all North Carolinians.”
Among other things, HB 2 aimed to resolve the issue of transgender men and women using restrooms and locker rooms that conform to their gender identity, if not biological sex. Previous reporting has shown that, before the law was passed, no reported incidents involving transgender men and women and bathrooms and locker rooms could be found in North Carolina.
Read the full decision below.