Achieving LGBTQ Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Case Summary & History

Transgender Law

Case: Carcano v. McCrory

STATUS: Pending | North Carolina

On October 25, 2016, NCLR filed an amicus brief in Carcano v. McCrory arguing that laws that single out transgender people for discrimination must be subjected to strict constitutional scrutiny and that North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (HB 2) fails that test. The brief also argues that North Carolina’s true purpose in passing HB 2 was to target and disadvantage transgender people and not, as the state contended, to protect so-called “privacy” interests. The brief was filed on behalf of NCLR, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), FORGE, the Transgender Law & Policy Institute (TLPI), and Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC).


Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of North Carolina and Equality North Carolina filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law, HB 2. The case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina against North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, Attorney General Roy Cooper, and the University of North Carolina, is on behalf of two transgender North Carolinians, Joaquín Carcaño, a UNC-Chapel Hill employee, and Payton McGarry, a UNC-Greensboro student; Angela Gilmore, a lesbian and North Carolina Central University law professor; and the ACLU of North Carolina and Equality North Carolina.

The plaintiffs allege that through HB 2, North Carolina sends a purposeful message that LGBT people are second-class citizens who are undeserving of the privacy, respect, and protections afforded others in the state. The complaint argues that HB 2 is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment because it discriminates on the basis of sex and sexual orientation and is an invasion of privacy for transgender people. The law also violates Title IX by discriminating against students and school employees on the basis of sex.

Read the Amicus Brief.

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