Here’s the Sweeping New Anti-LGBT Bill North Carolina Lawmakers Have Proposed in Today’s Special Session

By Adam Polaski • March 23, 2016 • 11:00 am
 Today in North Carolina, leaders in the North Carolina General Assembly unveiled a sweeping bill, designed to target an ordinance recently approved in Charlotte extending comprehensive non-discrimination protections to LGBT residents. The ordinance ensures that LGBT people in the city are protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Read the full bill text here.

NCSpecialSession

The monstrous bill proposed today voids the Charlotte ordinance in its entirety and additionally cobbles together some of the most extreme anti-LGBT measures that have overwhelmingly failed in other state legislatures this year. The legislation could cause the state to lose out on $4.5 billion in federal funds because of conflicts with Title IX regulations. You can take action right now by urging North Carolina lawmakers to STOP the anti-LGBT attacks.

The legislation specifically targets transgender North Carolinians by barring them from using the restroom in public schools and government buildings that matches the gender they live as every day. Instead, transgender residents and visitors are required to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate. This is a particularly pernicious bar to set in North Carolina, one of the states where it is more difficult for transgender residents to change their birth certificates. This also conflicts with Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, and could cost North Carolina at least $4.5 billion in federal funds. Similar concerns played a significant role in stopping other bathroom-related bills in South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Tennessee.

But the proposed bill does not stop there. The legislation also would void any local employment or public accommodation nondiscrimination ordinance that extend protections to classes not currently protected under state law. There are no state-level nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people in North Carolina, so the bill eradicates the Charlotte ordinance and effectively blocks the passage of similar measures in other municipalities.

Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe said today:

“North Carolina’s top elected officials, including House Speaker Tim Moore and Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, are insisting on a costly special session to override a municipal ordinance that a majority of the state’s voters don’t want the General Assembly to interfere with. Rather than focus on issues that unite North Carolinians and strengthen the state’s future prospects, the legislature is allowing election year politics to drive a divisive agenda – one that has particularly harmful implications for transgender residents and visitors. Lawmakers may be intent on rushing this discriminatory legislation through, but we are committed to holding them accountable and advocating for the more than quarter-million LGBT people who call North Carolina home.”

Today lawmakers convened for a special session – which will cost taxpayers upwards of $42,000 a day – as their approval rating among voters in North Carolina craters. A new poll out this week found that only 18 percent of voters in North Carolina approve of the job the legislature is doing. The same survey revealed that only 25 percent of North Carolinians want the legislature to meddle with the Charlotte ordinance, while 51 percent want them to leave it alone. In fact, 64 percent of voters support comprehensive nondiscrimination protections in North Carolina – arguably the exact opposite of what lawmakers are seeking to push through during the special session.

McTighe added today: “It’s bewildering but telling that Speaker Moore and Lt. Governor Forest are presenting this type of legislation, even in the face of clear opposition from the voters. But it’s shameful that those who will feel the brunt of this discriminatory measure are those already the most vulnerable across North Carolina – specifically, transgender youth who face harassment and isolation in school; and LGBT people who simply want the freedom to get a good job and provide for themselves and their loved ones.”

Take action now by urging North Carolina legislators to STOP the anti-LGBT attacks. 


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