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Monday, February 26, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

North Carolina Restricts LGBT Accommodations

(CN) - North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill late Wednesday that prevents local governments from passing nondiscrimination ordinances including those that open public bathrooms to transgender people based on the gender with which they identify.

The state General Assembly passed the measure hours earlier during a special session, 82-26, with the support of all of the Republicans in the legislature and 11 Democrats.

The Senate then passed the bill 32-0, after all the Democrats in that chamber walked out of the debate.

The bill was inspired by a nondiscrimination ordinance adopted by the City of Charlotte, part of which allows transgender people to use the bathroom matching the gender with which they identify.

The Charlotte law was scheduled to go into effect on April 1. Immediately after its passage, the North Carolina Republican Party released an online advertisement criticizing state Attorney General Roy Cooper who also happens to be the Democratic nominee for governor for not taking action against to invalidate the bathroom provision.

According to the NCGOP, "Cooper refused to do his job and take action to protect families and children as attorney general."

Shortly thereafter, Gov. McCrory, the Republican incumbent currently seeking re-election, called the special session of the legislature to deal with the matter.

The legislation he signed into law strikes down the entire Charlotte ordinance, replacing it with a statewide law that bans discrimination on the basis of "race, religion, color, national origin or biological sex" at places of business and other "public accommodations."

However, the law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity as categories protected from discrimination.

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