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Settlement expands transgender restroom rights in North Carolina

Judge OKs settlement letting transgender people use restrooms matching gender identity in many North Carolina restrooms.

RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal judge has approved a legal settlement allowing transgender people to use restrooms matching their gender identity in many North Carolina public buildings.

The consent decree approved Tuesday by a federal judge could end a protracted lawsuit by transgender people against North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill and the law that replaced it.

The agreement between the plaintiffs and North Carolina's Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says that nothing in state law can be interpreted to "prevent transgender people from lawfully using public facilities in accordance with their gender identity" in buildings controlled by the state's executive branch.

In return, plaintiffs have agreed to drop pending legal action against the governor and other defendants.

North Carolina's Republican legislative leaders had opposed the agreement.

North Carolina House Speak Tim Moore previously called the law that replaced HB 2, a measured approach.

"We've dealt with the non-discrimination ordinance issue," Speaker Moore said. "Cities are going to be out of that business for at least four years."

Governor Cooper, who signed the measure into law, had asked Democrats to support it. Some did, but it was clearly a tough decision.  

On the other hand, NC Values is a conservative organization that supported HB 2. In a statement, NC Values previously said, "No basketball game, corporation or entertainment event is worth even one little girl losing her privacy and dignity to a boy in the locker room or being harmed or frightened in a bathroom."

Continuing coverage:

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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