LGBT groups have launched a federal lawsuit a new law passed in North Carolina that forbids transgender people from using the public bathrooms of the gender they identify with.
Last week, Governor Pat McCrory signed the so-called "Bathroom Bill" into law which will also prevent city authorities from passing their own anti-discrimination laws.
The new rules come after the state’s largest city, Charlotte, passed an ordinance banning companies from discriminating against LGBT people.
Governor McCrory said he signed the bill as the Charlotte ordinance “didn’t make sense” as it would allow “men to use a women’s bathroom”.
But on Monday, two individuals, a law professor and three LGBT groups - the American Civil Liberities Union of North Carolina, Equality North Carolina and Lambda Legal - filed the motion in a bid to have the law declared unconstitutional.
In the filing the two named individuals, who were both born biologically female and now identify as male but have not changed their birth certificates, said they will now be forced to use male bathrooms and locker rooms which may “cause them fear and might lead to harassment”.
The lawsuit also criticised the members of the General Assembly for their arguments that Charlotte's new ordinance needed to be overturned to protect women and children.
"By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, (the new law) violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution," the lawsuit reads.
The pioneers of LGBT rights in 2015
The pioneers of LGBT rights in 2015
1/6 Justice Anthony Kennedy and the other Supreme Court Justices who legalised same sex marriage in the US
The US Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage is all 50 states of America in June, splitting 5-4 in favour. Writing the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy said gay people hope not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions.
2/6 Caitlyn Jenner
After she revealed her new self in an interview and cover with Vanity Fair magazine in June, the former olympian quickly became the most famous trans person in the world.
3/6 Cara Delevigne
The former model said she identified as bisexual in an interview with Vogue in July.
4/6 Ellen Page
The openly gay actress confronted Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz at a campaign rally in Iowa in August over laws that discriminate against the LGBT community.
5/6 iO Tillett Wright
The artist and Instagram star began the Self Evident Truths project in 2015 to photograph everyone who doesn’t identify as “100% straight”. Famously it featured Johnny Depp’s teenage daughter Lily Rose who said she fell “somewhere on the vast spectrum” and singer Selena Gomez who addressed rumours she was dating Cara Delevigne.
6/6 Ruby Rose
Australian born Rose was one of the very first celebrities to come out as genderfluid. She was hailed for giving it a public platform a the MTV Europe Music Awards in October when she welcomed “ladies and gentlemen, and everyone in-between” in her introduction.
With the law, North Carolina became the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
Advocates for LGBT rights say state legislators demonised them with bogus claims about bathroom risks. Supporters say the new law protects all people from having to share bathrooms with people who make them feel unsafe.
The legislation comes as a surprise to many within the state as 64 per cent of residents say they are in favour of laws protecting LGBT people, according to a 2015 survey by the Public Religion Research Institute.
Additional reporting by APReuse content