A U.S. court has approved a legal settlement clarifying that North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill does not prevent transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice in state government buildings.

U.S. Judge Thomas Schroeder signed a consent decree order stating that the wording in House Bill 142, the law that replaced House Bill 2, does not prohibit transgender individuals from using public restrooms in government buildings based on their gender.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lambda Legal represents six plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

“After so many years of managing the anxiety of HB 2 and fighting so hard, I am relieved that we finally have a court order to protect transgender people from being punished under these laws,” said Joaquin Carcaño, lead plaintiff in the case. “This is a tremendous victory but not a complete one. While I am glad that Governor Cooper agreed to this settlement, it remains devastating to know that local protections for LGBTQ people are still banned under state law while so many members of our community continue to face violence, harassment, and discrimination simply because of who we are. The fight for full justice will continue.”

Lawmakers approved House Bill 2 during a one-day special session in 2016, The law blocked cities and municipalities from enacting LGBT protections and prohibited transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice in many buildings. Passage of the law led to boycotts of the state.

Lawmakers repealed the law in 2017 and replaced it with House Bill 142. The new law leaves bathroom regulation to the state and enacts a moratorium on local LGBT protections until December 1, 2020.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit said that the replacement law was too vague.

“We are thrilled to obtain some clarity and relief for transgender North Carolinians who have been suffering under H.B. 2 and H.B. 142 for years,” said Irena Como, acting legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina. “While this part of the court fight may be ending, so much urgent work remains as long as people who are LGBTQ are denied basic protections from violence and discrimination simply because of who they are. The shameful stain of House Bill 2 and the pain and harm it caused to so many people will always be part of North Carolina’s history. LGBTQ North Carolinians still lack comprehensive, statewide nondiscrimination protections while on the job, patronizing a business open to the public, or simply going about their daily lives.”