One Year After Marriage Equality Ruling, Fight For LGBT Equal Rights Continues

Steph Bazzle - Author
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Jun. 26 2016, Updated 1:15 p.m. ET

A year ago today, the Supreme Court ruled on marriage equality, signifying a major shift in lgbt equal rights. It was an event for history books, and a win for the LGBT community, but by no means was it the end of the fight. A year later, transgender individuals are still fighting for such basic rights as access to appropriate bathrooms, and in many states, a person can still be fired for being gay or trans.

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In North Carolina, a law called the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, more commonly known as HB2, was passed in March. The law (PDF) was described by legislators as a means to protect the privacy of women and children, by requiring individuals to use the restrooms associated with their biological sex. However, ‘biological sex’ sex’ was defined as the sex “…stated on a person’s birth certificate.”

This, of course, results in some transgender individuals being expected to use a restroom that doesn’t match their identity or appearance. It has also been argued that the passage of the bill encourages members of the public to confront others entering bathrooms or dressing rooms, who didn’t match that person’s view of “masculine” or “feminine.” This, again, affects LGBT individuals disproportionately.

Aside from this most obvious aspect, as one state legislator warned, the bill also affected other nondiscrimination laws across the state, gutting LGBT protections against unfair hiring and housing practices, among others.

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One company spoke out almost immediately; Target reminded the public that transgender customers were welcome to use the appropriate bathrooms in their stores and was hit with a boycott.

Doubling down, the American Family Association followed the murder of 49 people in a LGBT club in Orlando with a call for more people to join in the boycott, asking for 1,000 signatures for each person confirmed dead in the attack.

Target isn’t the only business to oppose the law. Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub, in Durham, North Carolina, for instance, has posted signs declaring their opposition (below), and Refuge Restrooms is crowdsourcing a list of safe bathrooms for transgender people, not only across the state, but across America.

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