McCrory signs bill blocking anti-discrimination protections

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A spokesman says North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory will sign a bill designed to rein in local governments passing their own anti-discrimination rules.
 
Communications Director Josh Ellis said he anticipated McCrory would sign the measure into law Wednesday night. The legislature earlier in the evening finalized the bill, which was a response to a Charlotte City Council ordinance that expanded protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
 
The bill goes beyond blocking a provision that lets transgender people in the state's largest city use the bathroom aligned with their gender identity. It would stop Charlotte's broader anti-discrimination measure and similar rules approved on a local level in the future.
 
The actions would deal a blow to an LGBT movement that has had success with similar measures in other cities.

View bill here.

TIMELINE: 

  • On February 22, 2016 Charlotte City Council voted 7-4 - approving the controversial non-discrimination ordinance that provides certain provisions for the LGBT community. 
  • On February 24, 2016 Charlotte City Council Members spoke out about how they voted
  • On March 18, 2016 Keep NC Safe held a news conference outside of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Complex - urging the General Assembly to use a special session to overturn Charlotte's non-discrimination ordinance. 
  • On March 22, 2016 NC lawmakers announced they're coming together in Raleigh for a special session to specifically deal with Charlotte's non-discrimination ordinance. 
  • On March 23, 2016 Legislation preventing North Carolina local governments from approving their own regulations covering sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination has cleared one chamber of the General Assembly.

GOV. MCCRORY RELEASES STATEMENT LATE WEDNESDAY: 

“The basic expectation of privacy in the most personal of settings, a restroom or locker room, for each gender was violated by government overreach and intrusion by the mayor and city council of Charlotte. This radical breach of trust and security under the false argument of equal access not only impacts the citizens of Charlotte but people who come to Charlotte to work, visit or play. This new government regulation defies common sense and basic community norms by allowing, for example, a man to use a woman's bathroom, shower or locker room.

“While local municipalities have important priorities working to oversee police, fire, water and sewer, zoning, roads, and transit, the mayor and city council took action far out of its core responsibilities. As a result, I have signed legislation passed by a bipartisan majority to stop this breach of basic privacy and etiquette which was to go into effect April 1. Although other items included in this bill should have waited until regular session, this bill does not change existing rights under state or federal law.

“It is now time for the city of Charlotte elected officials and state elected officials to get back to working on the issues most important to our citizens.”

MAYOR ROBERTS COMMENTS ON NCGA SPECIAL SESSION: 

"I am appalled with the General Assembly’s actions today. 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 also repeals local protections against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, and sex and replaces them with a statewide prohibition with no consequences for those who discriminate. Contrary to the NCGA’s claim that they have broadened protections, they have actually opened the door to discrimination against anyone for any reason.

This legislation overturns the ability of local governments to provide, as we have for many years, protections for our transgender employees.  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.

This legislation overturns well accepted and successful practices that permit visitors to use the restroom of the gender which they identify in public facilities.  This puts at risk our travel and tourism industry by overturning our policies of inclusion at our convention center, arena, airport, and auditoriums.  And it does this all across the state.

This legislation imposes new restrictions on schools and universities that puts public education at risk of violating federal law and jeopardizing federal funding.

And strangely, this legislation prohibits local governments from setting minimum or living wage – which we never even had the authorization to do.

This legislation threatens to undermine the economic growth and prosperity of Charlotte and North Carolina.

Discrimination is never right and discrimination is not good for business. This is a bad bill for the Tarheel State.

The General Assembly is on the wrong side of progress…it is on the wrong side of history.

These are not the values of Charlotte and they are not the values of the business community of Charlotte and North Carolina.

I urge the governor to veto this bill. Thank you."

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