UNC-CH Departments & Colleges Take a Stand Against HB2

There are a growing number of departments and colleges at UNC-Chapel Hill that have taken a stand against HB2. Their statements affirm the value of all staff and students, note that they stand by UNC’s non-discrimination policy that includes gender identity and sexual orientation. Many call for the repeal of HB2. Below are those statements available now. More will be added as they become available.

UNC-CH Women’s & Gender Studies Department


UNC School of Law:




UNC School of Government


UNC-CH Gillings School of Global Public Health


UNC-CH Department of Classics

The Department of Classics states in the strongest terms our commitment to inclusivity and our determination to continue providing a welcoming and inclusive environment to all.  We do not discriminate on any grounds, including those of sexual orientation and gender identity.

We further point out that Federal Title IX regulations prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  The University’s own published policies ban discrimination and harassment based on "age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.”

All members and guests of the Department should be aware that North Carolina’s new law (commonly referred to as HB2) applies only to multi-stall restrooms labeled either Men or Women, in state-owned buildings.  Single-person and gender-neutral restrooms may be used by anybody, with no restrictions on sex or gender.  Murphey Hall contains such a facility (Room 3), in its basement floor, which may be reached either by the staircases at the Polk Place end of the main hall or by the elevator.


University policies:  http://sexualassaultanddiscriminationpolicy.unc.edu/about/our-policy/.

Gender-neutral restrooms on campus: https://lgbtq.unc.edu/resources/resource/resource-guidesgender-non-specific-bathrooms-campus).

Harassment because of gender, gender identity, sexuality, or sexual orientation may be reported to the LGBTQ Center (919-843-5376; https://lgbtq.unc.edu/programs-services/report-harassment) or to the University:

—Dean of Students (919-966-4042).

—Safe at UNC (http://safe.unc.edu/file-a-report/).

—Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (919-966-3576:


—Title IX Compliance Coordinator (919-445-1577; see also



James B. Rives, Chair, Department of Classics

Sharon L. James, Diversity Liaison, Department of Classics

Emily Baragwanath, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Classics

Robert Babcock, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Classics



Our Center has also issued a statement. The text can be found here.

As public heath practitioners and researchers our values include that:

We believe in conditions that give everyone the opportunity to reach their best health. This requires valuing all individuals and populations equally. It means addressing inequities in the places where people are born, grow, live, work, learn and age. When will we know we have succeeded? When health disparities are eliminated.

HB2 is directly in opposition to this value.

The UNC School of Social Work community has drafted a letter in response the HB2 that includes signatures of over 300 faculty, staff, students, and alums.  

Our code of ethics from the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is very clear on issues of oppression and social justice, stating "Social Workers should act to prevent and eliminate...discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical disability."  Further, the code of ethics challenges us to "advocate for changes in policy and legislation...in order to meet basic human needs and promote social justice."  Finally, the NASW has issued a document explicitly advocating for the rights of transgender people, encouraging "the repeal of laws and discriminatory practices that impede individuals in their identification with, and their expression of the gender which matches their sense of themselves, in all areas of the public arena, especially employment, health care, education, and in housing."  For these reasons, with this letter we denounce HB2 and call for its immediate repeal, joining many other UNC departments who have done the same. We have also shared the letter with local media and Governor McCrory, Lt. Governor Forest, leadership in the NC legislature, UNC Chancellor Folt, and UNC System President Spellings. 

The link to the statement including all signatures can be found here.

Pasted below is an email sent to the department by the chair, Jonathan Lees.

Dear Members of the Department of Geological Sciences Community:

As you are by now aware, on March 23 North Carolina Governor McCrory signed into law House Bill 2 (HB2) that bars transgender people from using bathrooms and changing rooms that do not correspond to the gender stated on their birth certificates. HB2 also explicitly prohibits local municipalities from enacting their own antidiscrimination policies and instead establishes a statewide policy that excludes gay and transgender citizens. The constitutionality of this new law will be evaluated in the months to come, and we will await the decision of the courts.

However, we want to unambiguously state that the Department of Geological Scinces strives for tolerance and inclusion of all members of the UNC community. As a department, we are deeply committed to fostering a diverse, open, and welcoming community of scientists, scholars, staff, faculty, and students, and we value and respect each and every individual with whom we work. The passage of HB2 represents a disappointing turn of events in our goal of creating and fostering a welcoming and safe environment. We stand together as a community to be supportive of our LGBTQ members at this difficult time.

We would like to point out the existence of these relevant support services at UNC:

We encourage an open and ongoing discussion about these important issues and we welcome any input or guidance regarding the way in which we can help continue to make our Department a safe and accepting community for us all.

Jonathan Lees
Chair, Department of Geological Sciences

Kevin Stewart
Diversity Liaison to the College

The UNC-CH Faculty Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for the repeal of HB2. Read the resolution here.

I just received this from NC Sierra Club:

To: North Carolina Sierra Club Chapter Leaders
As you know, HB2 has been the leading news story in North Carolina for several weeks.  This bill goes against the diversity, equity and inclusion principles of the Sierra Club.  Our Chapter DEI Committee and Steering Committee have unanimously voted to take a position opposing HB2 as a way to affirm our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.  Here is our statement:
"The Sierra Club is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.  North Carolina House Bill 2 clearly seeks to undermine these principles through discriminatory policies, including but not limited to denying equality for LGBT individuals; denying the right of individuals to pursue age, sex and racial discrimination cases in state courts; and reiterating legislative opposition to the ability of local governments to raise the minimum wage so as to help achieve economic equity.  The North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club strongly opposes this bill and calls for its repeal."


In recent years, the Sierra Club has placed an increased emphasis on the need for environmental justice.  Diversity, equity and inclusion are the principles underlying this policy.  As we continue to work for a better environment for everyone, we'll continue to recognize the importance of equality for everyone.

Steve Copulsky NC Sierra Club Chapter Chair


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