Last Wednesday North Carolina lawmakers passed a bill that will cancel out local anti-discrimination laws and will prohibit transgender people from using certain restrooms. The bill was of course, introduced by Republicans in an effort to respond to a measure that was recently passed in Charlotte. This law restricted any discrimination that is based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression, according to the New York Times.
The Charlotte ordinance was also allowing people to use public bathrooms based on whatever their gender identity was, rather than the gender that was listing on their birth certificate. House Bill 2 is effectively overriding any anti-discrimination efforts locally, which includes the one in Charlotte. The law specifically focuses on prohibiting people from using public bathrooms that don’t coincide with the gender on their birth certificate. This would take away the freedom to go where you’re most comfortable.
Supposedly, Republican lawmakers introduced the bill because they felt that it’s a necessary measure that will protect women from predatory men using the same facilities. Their logic seems a bit skewed and unrealistic, however that’s the reasoning they’re going with. Even though the people who support the bill say that it’s a great way to adopt anti-discrimination measures all over the state, the bill doesn’t mention anything about protecting transgender to gay people.
The bill was voted 83-24 by The House to pass. Later on the same day, the Senate voted 32-0 in favor of the bill. All Democratic senators walked out in protest, as they should’ve. They were astounded by the fact that the Republicans were actually trying to take away their citizens’ right to choose a restroom based on how they identify and based on what makes them comfortable. That night, Republican Gov. Pat McRory signed the bill into law, unfortunately.