Government Law

North Carolina governor signs law regulating transgender bathroom use at government facilities

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has signed into law a bill that requires schools and other government-controlled facilities to restrict multiple-occupancy bathrooms to people of the same biological sex.

The law, dubbed the “bathroom bill,” also bars local governments from passing ordinances granting bias protections that extend further than state law—a provision that has the effect of barring local protections for gay and transgender people, report NPR, the Atlantic and the Charlotte Observer.

The bill was introduced and passed in a special session on Wednesday that lasted 12 hours. It creates statewide protections against bias on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin and biological sex, but not based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according to NPR.

The bill bars overrides legal protections for LGBT individuals passed last month by the Charlotte City Council. The Charlotte ordinance, which was scheduled to take effect on April 1, would have allowed transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

The North Carolina bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Dan Bishop, R-Charlotte, said his legislation barred local ordinances requiring bathroom accommodations for transgender people that correspond with their gender identity, though businesses could voluntarily implement such policies.

South Dakota lawmakers also passed a law requiring public schools to restrict transgender students to restrooms that correspond to their gender at birth. The state’s Republican governor vetoed it. North Carolina’s governor is also a Republican.

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