The NCAA announced this week that they will again consider venues in North Carolina to host the NCAA Championship after the state replaced the controversial Bathroom Bill HB2 with one that was less discriminatory. This is following the NCAA’s boycott of the state sparked by the passing of HB2.
The decision to replace the bill was made last week when the North Carolina General Assembly passed HB142, a bill that establishes a ban on local nondiscrimination ordinances and a permanent ban on local or state regulation on access to bathrooms.
HB2 prevented local government entities from extending protections to LGBT people and legally required individuals to only use restrooms consistent with the sex listed on their birth certificate.
The new bill meets the minimal NCAA requirements for event hosting, though each potential host site must answer a questionnaire “to demonstrate how they will provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event,” the questionnaire reads.
In order to ensure that each of these potential host sites are truly safe for LGBT people, the ACLU has submitted records requests from each of the sites to gauge the available protections.
“We’re filing these public records requests because the LGBT community deserves clarity on how these sites can guarantee a nondiscriminatory environment in light of the passage of HB 142,” James Esseks, Director of ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project said. “Transparency is essential given that the backroom deals around HB 142 have only resulted in a status quo that continues to subject trans student-athletes, coaches, and fans to discrimination.”
HB 142 still prevents schools, state and local government buildings in North Carolina from establishing policies that allow transgender people access to the restrooms that align with their gender identities. Therefore, the ACLU is working to publicly disclose whether or not a North Carolina host site is truly safe for LGB and especially transgender guests.
“The NCAA must stand by its word and demand documentation of basic nondiscrimination policies and protections before further committing to any North Carolina sites,” ACLU North Carolina Policy Directory Sarah Gillooly said.