Sweeping anti-LGBT bill passed and signed in North Carolina

On Wednesday state lawmakers passed, and Governor Pat McCrory signed,  a sweeping bill stripping LGBT North Carolinians of basic nondiscrimination protections.  The new law was introduced, passed, and signed within a matter of hours, effectively bypassing any public comment from the people of North Carolina.

The bill overrules an LGBT inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance that was passed by city leaders in Charlotte last month and was due to take effect on April 1.  The legislation also prevents other municipalities in the state from enacting laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  And, according The Charlotte Observer, the law prohibits public elementary and secondary schools, as well as universities and colleges that receive public funds, “from having multistall transgender bathrooms.”

The bill was passed 84-25 in the North Carolina House of Representatives.  In the State Senate the bill passed 32-0 after Democrats walked out of the chamber to protest the “undemocratic” way in the legislation was pushed through.  Given the speed with which the bill was introduced and passed, community and business interests were largely unheard in the process. According to observers, large employers in the state would have likely lobbied against the legislation, had they been given a chance.

Since its passage, major businesses have come out strongly in opposition to the law.  American Airlines, Apple, Biogen, Dow Chemical, Lowe’s, PayPal, Red Hat, and Salesforce all issued statements expressing disappointment in the legislation.  Both the NBA and NCAA have suggested that the law would prevent them from holding future events or tournaments in the state. Bank of America, whose corporate headquarters are located in Charlotte, released a statement confirming the bank’s commitment to its LGBT employees and support for nondiscrimination laws.

Read more coverage from the Charlotte Observer

Read more coverage from the New York Times