When North Carolina passed its version of the bathroom bill a year ago, many Texas lawmakers - most notably Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick - practically salivated over the prospect of passing similar legislation in the Lone Star State.
Shortly after repealing the controversial House Bill 2, the transgender bathroom bill, North Carolina lawmakers have introduced legislation to nullify same-sex marriages in the Tar Heel State. "If we don't do this, we are discriminating against people of faith", he said, referring to clerks, judges, justices of the peace and other elected officials empowered to issue marriage licenses in Texas' 254 counties.
Jay Inslee has issued a new memo to ban non-essential state-funded travel to North Carolina because he says that the state's repeal of its so-called "bathroom bill" is still allowing discrimination against gay, lesbian or transgender people.
Perhaps this is the real reason North Carolina Republicans would hazard a legislative repeal of Obergefell - HB2 did not really cost North Carolina much of anything, especially compared to Target's pro-transgender decision. It's far past time North Carolina politicians - both Republican and Democrat - stop using LGBTQ people and other communities as political pawns to target for discrimination.
The replacement law also prohibits local governments from enacting new nondiscrimination ordinances until 2020.
Texas looks like it might take a page out of North Carolina's book, as an anti-LGBTQ bill, House Bill 2899, is being considered as an alternative to the stalled Senate Bill 6.
Lawmakers have signaled support for the bill, which skirts the bathroom issue entirely, and - if North Carolina is any indication - seems to pass muster for some businesses anxious about discriminatory policies.
President Donald Trump's administration announced the decision in a filing Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina. HB142 was unconstitutional the moment it was enacted.
The ACLU has said it's planning to continue its legal fight for LGBT rights despite the new legislation. "We don't think the courts will have any trouble seeing that, regardless of who's sitting at counsel's table". Each side is to file new arguments by late April to a court in which two of the judges recently described Gavin Grimm, the teen from Virginia fighting for transgender rights, as a courageous civil rights leader.
Earlier this week, the appeals court asked Lambda Legal and the ACLU for more information about how HB142 will affect their case.
The Obama administration previously alleged the Tar Heel state violated the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination based on sex, and argued the federal rights law also applied to trans discrimination.