Today American Library Association (ALA) President Sari Feldman, Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) President Andrew Medlar, and ALA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) Chair Peter Coyl released a joint letter to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory recommending that he urge repeal of the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (House Bill 2).
This law repeals all GLBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances across the state. This action was in direct response to a transgender-inclusive, nondiscrimination ordinance passed by the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, in February 2016. The Charlotte ordinance would have protected transgender people who use public restrooms based on their gender identity and would have provided broad protections against discrimination in public accommodations in the state’s largest city.
The full text of their letter follows:
Governor Pat McCrory
Office of the Governor
116 W Jones St
Raleigh, NC 27603
Dear Governor McCrory,
We are writing to you today to urge repeal of the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act (HB2) which prohibits local governments from protecting the civil liberties of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (GLBTQ) constituents. This legislation is a plain statement of the State of North Carolina’s willingness to permit intolerance and discrimination against GLBTQ citizens.
House Bill 2 contradicts the fundamental values of the American Library Association (ALA) and undermines civil rights and the fundamental principles upon which libraries are founded. Because libraries are a microcosm of the larger society, they play an important and unique role in the communities that they serve and must seek to provide an inclusive environment where all are treated with respect and dignity.
The ALA believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is a continuous effort and must be addressed. Thus, the ALA will endeavor to ensure full representation of all members of society regardless of sexual orientation. This effort is reflected within ALA policies, procedures, and programs as well as in its relations with staff, members, stakeholders, and the community at large, thereby reaffirming its commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and mutual respect for all human beings.
The ALA is more than 58,000 members strong and supports efforts to abolish intolerance. HB 2, which stripped away protections for GLBTQ persons that the City of Charlotte had enacted, will have a profound impact on our Association’s relationship to the State of North Carolina. The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is scheduled to host its 2016 National Institute in Charlotte and will make a significant economic investment in that event. Discriminatory legislation is a statement of inhospitality to many of our members and to our board, which likely would negatively affect their willingness to attend this event or support future meetings and conferences in North Carolina.
Librarians, library workers, and library advocates call on you, Governor McCrory, to support repeal of HB 2 and to stand up for what is right and oppose intolerance in North Carolina.
American Library Association
Association for Library Service to Children
ALA GLBT Round Table