Bill Heads To Governor's Desk - Voids All LGBT Nondiscrimination Ordinances
North Carolina Republican elected officials angered that the Charlotte City Council had passed a bill extending protections to LGBT people called a special session on Wednesday to pass a sweeping bill wiping out all nondiscrimination ordinances across the state. Lawmakers, having been directed by GOP Governor Pat McCrory, Lt. Gov. and Senate President Dan Forest, Senate President pro tempore Phil Berger, and House Speaker Tim Moore, drafted extremist legislation and pushed it through an all-too happy-to-appease state legislature.
So contentious is the legislation that when the Senate took up the bill Wednesday in the early evening, Senate Democrats walked out, stating their "participation has not been allowed."
Move on they did. Six minutes later GOP lawmakers called for the second of three votes on the bill. Within two more minutes the bill was passed on the third reading.
The bill itself is broad. Not only does it void LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances throughout the state, it attacks transgender citizens by revoking their right to use public restrooms based on gender identity. It also mandates that only state lawmakers can pass laws regulating employment discrimination, the use of public accommodations, and minimum wages.
The bill passed 32-0, with no Democrats voting. The House passed the bill, 83-25, earlier in the afternoon.
It now heads to Gov. Pat McCrory, who will sign it.
UPDATE I: 6:44 PM EDT -
NC ACLU weighs in:
"Rather than expand nondiscrimination laws to protect all North Carolinians, the General Assembly instead spent $42,000 to rush through an extreme bill that undoes all local nondiscrimination laws and specifically excludes gay and transgender people from legal protections," said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina. "The manner in which legislators passed the most extreme anti-LGBT bill in the nation - voting hours after it was unveiled without adequate public debate - flies in the face of fairness and democracy. Legislators have gone out of their way to stigmatize and marginalize transgender North Carolinians by pushing ugly and fundamentally untrue stereotypes that are based on fear and ignorance and not supported by the experiences of more than 200 cities with these protections. Transgender men are men; transgender women are women. They deserve to use the appropriate restroom in peace, just like everyone else. We urge Governor McCrory to veto this extreme, far reaching and misguided bill."
UPDATE II: 6:49 PM EDT -
Campaign for Southern Equality Executive Director Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara:
"Transgender youth and adults live in every town across North Carolina and we are committed to ensuring they are treated with equality, dignity and respect. We especially want to speak to transgender youth today, who are hearing terrible messages from our elected officials in Raleigh.
"What is true is this: you're beautiful, you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, you are not alone, and if you need support, there are people here to help."
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