The Atlantic

A New Day for Queer People in the South

North Carolina’s ban on local protections for LGBTQ people expires today. But more fights lie ahead.
Source: Sean Gallup / Getty

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—Allison Scott has waited years for this day to come. This day, specifically. Scott’s job is advocating for LGBTQ rights in the South, and for four years, her home state of North Carolina has prohibited towns and cities from passing new protections for queer people. Today, that ban is finally dead—and North Carolina has an opportunity to change the reputation it earned in the 2016 fight over H.B. 2, the so-called bathroom bill.

Scott, the director of policy and programs at the Asheville-based Campaign for Southern Equality, believes that, despite its , H.B. 2 encouraged homophobia and transphobia in North Carolina and across the country. The bill passed just a few months after Scott came out as a transgender woman.

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