Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has just signed into law a measure, which many are calling the “most anti-LGBT bill in the country,” that blocks local governments in North Carolina from passing anti-discrimination rules that would protect LGBT people. This news comes after a flurry of events that transpired yesterday.
North Carolina’s General Assembly, which wasn’t due to meet until late April, scheduled a special session for the first time in 35 years on Wednesday to discuss a Charlotte city measure that passed last month that would protect LGBT individuals from being discriminated against by businesses. The measure was scheduled to go into effect on April 1 and thus the rush.
What followed was a furious pace of “legislating”. Over 12 hours, legislators introduced HB2, debated and then passed it before sending it over to Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed it into law.
This new law supersedes any municipal nondiscrimination measures. It actually establishes a statewide “nondiscrimination” ordinance, but only protects against discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin and biological sex. The two big omissions? It doesn’t offer protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
North Carolina’s new law is being called the “bathroom bill”. NPR reports:
The legislation passed in the Republican-controlled House by 82-26. The Senate then passed the bill by a vote of 32-0 (Democrats refused to vote and walked out). Once in the hands of the governor, he did what many already anticipated he would do.
With this move, North Carolina is being dubbed the most homophobic state in the country and now faces potential boycotts as word begins to spread.
“I am appalled with the General Assembly’s actions today,” said Charlotte mayor, Jennifer Roberts. “It has passed a bill that is worse than what we have seen in Indiana and Georgia and other states. This legislation is literally the most anti-LGBT legislation in the country. It sanctions discrimination against the LGBT community.
“This legislation overturns the ability of local governments to provide, as we have for many years, protections for our transgender employees,” she added. “It prohibits local governments from providing to their employees the same protections that private employers provide to their employees and puts us at risk of violating federal laws.”
— Cyndi Holcombe (@CyndiHolcombe11) March 24, 2016