The trial over North Carolina’s HB2 law, which restricts bathroom access for transgender individuals, has been delayed several months, lawyers say.
According to a report from NBC News, Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake of the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina has granted a request to delay the trial until the Supreme Court decides whether to hear a case in Virginia on transgender bathroom access.
James Esseks, American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who is part of the team of lawyers representing three transgender residents, said the judge’s granting of the request pushes the trial to May from its originally-scheduled date in November.
David Jacobs, a spokesman for the Justice Department, also confirmed that the trial would be pushed back until May.
The H.B. 2 law in North Carolina requires transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificate, not the gender they identify with. The law, which was passed in March 2016, also places limitations on anti-discrimination protections for the LGBT community.
The Republican governor and policymakers claim the law is required to protect the safety and privacy of North Carolina residents.
Those opposed to the law argue that adequate protections are already in place for restroom safety. Members of the LGBT community say the new law is discriminatory and harmful.
A court ruled in favor of the three North Carolina transgender plaintiffs in August, ruling that the individuals must be allowed to use the restrooms that conform to their gender identity on University of North Carolina campuses.
The plaintiffs are asking an appeals court to extend the scope of the ruling to all transgender people in North Carolina.
State Republican leaders asked the court to put a hold on proceedings until the Supreme Court decides if it will hear the Virginia case, which involves a transgender high school student who has asked for permission to use the men’s restroom.