North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory [official website] on Tuesday issued an executive order [text] that he says is meant to clarify the previously passed House Bill 2 [materials]. In a statement on the order, the governor said that House Bill 2’s mandate of gender-specific restrooms and locker rooms in government buildings and schools will be maintained, but that he will also seek legislation in a short session to reinstate the right to sue for discrimination in state court. The order came in response to significant backlash against the bill, which has been called discriminatory and unconstitutional by various individuals and rights groups.
Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has been a controversial issue in the US. In March North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper stated during a press conference that he would not defend [JURIST report] House Bill 2, which he considers to be discriminatory against the LGBT community. Earlier that week North Carolina individuals and civil rights groups filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against McCrory, claiming that the bill he signed one week prior was unconstitutional and discriminatory. Earlier that month the North Carolina governor signed the bill into law [JURIST report], preventing local governments from enacting their own nondiscrimination ordinances and making them unable to pass laws allowing transgender people to use the public restroom or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity.