Lesbian Couple Sues North Carolina Over Discrimination Experienced Due To ‘Bathroom Bill’

North Carolina’s “transgender bathroom bill” has been a hot topic for debate as of late and a married lesbian couple of the state protests that the controversial law attached consequences that are damaging to their reproductive rights.

In a new complaint against the state, Kelly Trent and Beverly Newell claim that the law has allowed for a Charlotte fertility clinic to deny in-vitro fertilization services. The Washington Post relays the details of the claims.

“The clinic, Advanced Reproductive Concepts, told the couple on April 1 — the day the law took effect — that it was not accepting new same-sex clients, according to the complaint filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, a law firm that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights.”

Trent and Newell see the bill as a jumping point to more intolerance from the state and have now witnessed it first hand. Trent, 39, a registered nurse, spoke on the subject during an interview with the Post.

“The bill has been described as a bathroom bill, but the whole issue is just a Trojan horse or a smokescreen for discrimination. We’re all paying for this bill one way or another.”

The law that has become so controversial within the state of North Carolina keeps governments from passing LGBT rights protections and ensures that students and others at public facilities use the bathroom according to the sex listed on their birth certificate as opposed to that of the sex with which they identify. As BBC shares, the controversy is spread throughout the U.S.

The Post continues to note that “[t]he law, which was introduced, passed and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) over the course of a single day, has provoked an outcry from celebrities, sports teams, corporations and activists who say it legalizes discrimination against LGBT people.”

Until the law was passed, transgender people share that using the bathroom within which they felt they belonged was never an issue. Supporters of McCrory voice their stance that the bill has been misinterpreted and is put in place for safety and keeps in place a privacy standard mainly protecting women from using a public bathroom or shower facility with a biological male.

McCrory, himself, addressed the matter.

“I don’t think government should be telling the private sector what their restroom and shower law should be, to allow a man into a woman’s restroom or shower facility at a YMCA, for example. But I do believe in our high schools, in our middle schools, in our universities, we should continue to have the tradition that we’ve been having in our country for years. We have a women’s facility and a men’s facility. You know, it’s worked out pretty well, and I don’t think we should have any further government interference.”

Advocacy groups were quick to come against the new bill and to file suits based on allegations by two transgender people and a gay female, later adding the complaint by Trent and Newell. A transgender high school student was also added to the list of plaintiffs.

Advanced Reproductive Concepts claims that they did not turn the couple away due to their sexual orientation and declared that the couple’s claims were “false and untruthful.” The Post shares information that was included in a statement released by members of the clinic this month.

“The statement said that Advanced Reproductive Concepts is not accepting new sperm donor cases for any couples regardless of sexual orientation and that the clinic specializes in in-vitro fertilization cases that do not involve the use of third-party donors, the network reported.”

However, the clinic is not named in the suit mainly because the plaintiffs identify the root of the issue to be at the government and state level. By passing such a bill, Trent and Newell feel that businesses are becoming “emboldened” in their behavior towards the LGBT community.

[Photo by Stephen Morton/Getty Images]