Transgender

Mark Hames / Charlotte Observer

CMS had been coming up with guidance to give schools on how to handle transgender students. That work started before House Bill 2 surfaced requiring students to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate, before the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled otherwise, and the federal government issued its own guidelines. CMS is now holding off on its work, at least for now. 

North Carolina public schools have received two sets of instructions regarding transgender students. The state's House Bill 2 says those students must use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate. But recent guidance from the federal government says schools must allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.

What is the NC Department of Public Instruction telling school districts to do? "The problem is - what guidance would we give them?" says NC Schools Superintendent June Atkinson. She believes the courts will ultimately rule that students should be allowed to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.  WFAE's Mark Rumsey reports.


Federal officials issued a directive to school districts nationwide Friday saying they must treat transgender students according to the gender they identify with.  That brought another round of criticism from North Carolina officials, including Gov. Pat McCrory, who said federal agencies don't have the authority to decide school policies for bathrooms, locker rooms and other facilities.

twbuckner / Flickr https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

North Carolina receives nearly $4 billion in federal funds to support the state's public schools and university system. That's money the state could lose because the U.S. justice department deems House Bill 2 discriminates on the basis of sex by not allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of the sex with which they identify. "Could" is the operative word though.

North Carolina General Assembly

 State Senate Leader Phil Berger says he doesn’t envision any changes to House Bill 2 during the short session that begins Monday, including one revision requested by Gov. Pat McCrory. He also said he’ll push for a 2 percent state budget increase, including another round of teacher raises. 

Sara Delia / WFAE

It’s been almost three weeks since the passage of House Bill 2, which prohibits discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. It also requires transgender people use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate.

Still, nothing prohibits local businesses from having their own policies.  One Charlotte transgender woman set out to find where she can and cannot use the restroom since the passage of HB2. WFAE’s Sarah Delia has more.

Courtesy WRAL.com

Updated 6:30 p.m.

The first legal challenge to North Carolina’s House Bill 2 was filed Monday in federal court. That’s the law passed by a special session of the General Assembly last week and signed into law by Governor McCrory the same day.

HB 2 includes sweeping measures, though supporters say it mostly ‘clarifies’ what cities, towns and counties can do to limit discrimination in hiring, firing and places of public accommodation. This includes public schools and campuses throughout the UNC System.

Updated 12:15 p.m.

A federal lawsuit was filed Monday to stop House Bill 2. That’s the law passed by a special session of the General Assembly last week in response to Charlotte's updated non-discrimination ordinance that gave protections to LGBT people. Governor McCrory signed the legislation the same day.

Scott*/Flickr

A federal lawsuit involving a transgender high school student in Virginia is leading to heated political rhetoric in North Carolina.

Republican Governor Pat McCrory is criticizing state Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, for not getting involved in the case. And North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger put out a statement Tuesday that makes it seem like Cooper is in favor of "forcing middle school-aged boys and girls to use the same locker room."

David Boraks

Hillary Clinton says she would be willing to break up big financial institutions if the need arose.  The front runner for the Democratic presidential nomination spoke at a Democratic Party rally in North Charleston Saturday.  Meanwhile, more Carolinians are expected to travel this year for Thanksgiving, and they'll find much lower gas prices.

Charlotte City Council’s meeting Monday night over whether to include LGBT people in the city’s non-discrimination law evoked strong comments from the public and Council members. The proposal failed 6-5.

"I don’t think tonight’s vote is about solving a problem. I think it’s about promoting a political agenda," Republican Councilman Kenny Smith said before casting his vote against the measure. "I think if it's passed, it will be a clear message to the city that the City Council has voted to impose the progressive left's view of morality on the majority of our citizens."

Another council member who voted against the measure was LaWana Mayfield. Her vote may surprise some because she’s an openly gay member of Council. She voted no because the final proposal had stripped out a controversial requirement that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.

In this interview, Mayfield tells WFAE's Sarah Delia that voting yes on the compromise "would have been compromising on all of the friends, the neighbors, those in the community that do identify as transgender…that would be telling them ‘You’re not worthy to be part of this fight with right now.’ ”

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