National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization, announced it has moved its 2016 Northeast/Southeast Affiliate Leadership Convening, scheduled for October, from Raleigh, N.C., to Miami, in protest of the state's anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2.
HB 2 requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that do not match their gender identity. The law, introduced and signed into law in less than 12 hours on March 23, also rescinds all existing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances, prohibits new ones, and bars residents from suing for discrimination in state court.
In a statement, La Raza president and CEO Janet Murguía said, “Hispanics know what it is like to be singled out and stripped of our humanity because of who we are or what we look like. And with the wave of anti-immigrant state laws in recent years, the Latino community is all too familiar with legislation that purports to ‘protect’ but, in fact, legalizes discrimination."
She called HB 2 "a solution in search of a nonexistent problem; it is unnecessary, offensive and violates not only our rights, but our values as Americans. By taking this action, we extend our support to the efforts of so many in North Carolina and the LGBT, civil rights and business communities to repeal this egregious law."
Last Friday, the Obama administration announced that schools receiving federal funding may not discriminate against students on the basis of their gender identity. Later that same day, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that federally funded health care providers must provide transgender people with transition-affirmative care.
The federal government announced it was suing the state of North Carolina May 9 because HB 2 violates federal civil rights protections. The announcement came hours after North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory stated he was suing the Department of Justice for threatening the state's federal funding. The federal government announced it would not be withholding funds from the state in the meantime.