On Wednesday, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law a bill blocking anti-discrimination rules that would protect gay and transgender people.
The North Carolina state Legislature has passed a law blocking local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules to grant protections to gay and transgender people. The law comes a month after the city of Charlotte passed a measure protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from being discriminated against by businesses. The state's General Assembly wasn't due to meet until late April, but it scheduled a special session — for the first North carolina people in 35 years, member station WUNC reports — on Wednesday to respond to the Charlotte measure before North carolina people went into effect.
Over the course of 12 hours, the state legislators introduced, debated and passed the bill, and Gov.
Pat McCrory signed it into law. The new law establishes a statewide nondiscrimination ordinance that explicitly supersedes any local nondiscrimination measures.
The statewide protections cover race, religion, color, national origin and biological sex — but not sexual orientation or gender identity. Charlotte already protected residents from discrimination based on race, age, religion and gender.
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The most controversial element of Charlotte's expanded ordinance was the fact that it would allow trans people to use the bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Opponents argued this North carolina people make bathrooms unsafe for women and children.