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RALEIGH — The North Carolina House of Representatives today voted 104-8 to approve a bill that would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18 for most offenses. North Carolina is the only remaining state in the nation that automatically charges all 16- and 17-year- olds as adults, regardless of the crime.

“Sending kids into the adult criminal justice system puts their safety and future at risk and harms North Carolina’s communities in countless ways,” said Susanna Birdsong, Policy Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. “This bipartisan House vote is a hugely important step toward fixing this injustice that now exists only in North Carolina. We stand with a broad coalition of North Carolinians in urging the Senate and Governor Cooper to pass this much-needed measure into law and finally do the right thing for North Carolina and its young people.”

House Bill 280 – which has received support from Republican and Democratic leadership, as well as children’s advocates and law enforcement groups – would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction for misdemeanors and low-level felonies, meaning that 16- and 17-year-olds charged with those offenses would be redirected to the state’s juvenile justice system. The bill’s language was based on a series of recommendations made by a commissioned chaired by North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin, who has endorsed the proposal. Senate Leader Phil Berger has also said the issue is a high priority for the state Senate.

RALEIGH, N.C. — The NCAA announced today that they will be returning championship events to sites in North Carolina for the first time since the state passed sweeping anti-LGBT legislation in 2016. The original law, HB 2, was replaced last month by a new law, HB 142, which continues to discriminate against transgender people.

“North Carolina’s new law does nothing to guarantee that LGBT people will be protected from discrimination” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project. “When the NCAA originally withdrew events from North Carolina, they did so because they claimed to care about ‘fairness and inclusion’ for college athletes and fans. It’s a shame to see that those concerns have already fallen by the wayside.”

HB 142 prevents state agencies, public schools, and local governments from adopting policies ensuring that transgender people can access restrooms matching their gender. Without such protections, people cannot fully participate in public life. HB 142 also says that local governments cannot pass ordinances protecting LGBT people — or anyone else — from discrimination in employment or public places until 2020.

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RALEIGH — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina is speaking out against a sweeping anti-immigrant bill that would jeopardize students, direct state police to enforce federal immigration law, and seek to punish local governments who enact their own policies related to immigration. 

Senate Bill 145 was approved by the Senate Judiciary committee today and now heads to the Senate Rules and Operations Committee for consideration.

Among its provisions, Senate Bill 145 would

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina General Assembly today passed a bill that does not repeal the discriminatory HB 2 law. Instead, it keeps in place the most harmful parts of the law.

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina is delivering a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper urging him to veto the measure — although Cooper has voiced his support for the proposal and is expected to sign it into law.

The new bill bars any protections for transgender people using restrooms or other facilities in schools or other state or local government buildings. This means schools, court houses, city halls, government agencies, and more cannot allow transgender people to use the right restroom.

It also prevents cities from passing any protections for employment discrimination or discrimination by places of public accommodation — for LGBT people or anyone — until 2020.

“This is not a repeal of HB 2. Instead, they’re reinforcing the worst aspects of the law,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project. “North Carolina lawmakers should be ashamed of this backroom deal that continues to play politics with the lives of LGBT North Carolinians.”

The ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal will continue to defend right of transgender people to use restrooms and changing facilities consistent with their gender identity, as federal law requires.  The lawsuit, which includes claims for the damages inflicted by H.B. 2, will continue, and the legal team will seek to amend the lawsuit to challenge H.B. 142 as well. 

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