Governor signs bill that blocks cities and counties from passing their own transgender bathroom laws.
In North Carolina, transgenders must use the bathroom that corresponds with their BIRTH gender. The Republican-controlled General Assembly acted after Charlotte city leaders in February approved a broad anti-discrimination measure allowing transgender people to use the restroom that matched their gender identity.
Republicans and their allies have said intervening was necessary to protect the safety of women and children from “radical” action by Charlotte. There have been arguments that any man – perhaps a sex offender – could enter a woman’s restroom or locker room by calling himself transgender.
“It’s common sense – biological men should not be in women’s showers, locker rooms and bathrooms,” said representative Dean Arp of Monroe, a Republican, before the chamber voted 82-26 for the legislation after nearly three hours of debate.
Gay rights leaders and transgender people said the legislation demonized the community and gave credence to bogus claims about increasing the risk of sexual assaults. They said the bill would will deny lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people essential protections needed to ensure they could get a hotel room, hail a taxi or dine at a restaurant without fear.
The bill bars local governments statewide from prohibiting discrimination in public places based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It directs all public schools, government agencies and public college campuses to require bathrooms or locker rooms be designated for use only by people based on their biological sex. They can offer single-occupancy facilities.
Transgender people who have transitioned to the opposite sex would not be affected if they had their birth certificate changed.
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