On Wednesday the North Carolina General Assembly approved HB2, the bill which would block local governments from passing non-discrimination measures based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The legislation was able to clear the General Assembly in under nine hours.
This comes primarily as an attack on Charlotte, which decided earlier this month to allow transgender people to choose which bathrooms to use based on the gender they best identify with.
According to WRAL in Raleigh, HB2 is, “A proposal that codifies a statewide nondiscrimination policy in employment and public accommodations and prohibits North Carolina cities or towns from enacting stricter guidelines.”
“This is historic,” said Rep. Dan Bishop, a Charlotte Republcian who was one of the bill’s primary sponsors. “There’s never been such a statewide nondiscrimination statute on public access in North Carolina.”
It would make it unlawful for a city or county to ban discrimination based on terms not otherwise outlined by the state government, where it is obvious to all that gender identity and sexual orientation are absent and are the nondiscrimination protections where are truly at stake here. What the bill does offer is a “nondiscrimination law that would ban discrimination on the basis of ‘race, religion, color, national origin or biological sex’ at businesses and other ‘places of public accommodation’.”
Disabled people are also not protected from discrimination by this ordinance.
The bill now awaits the signature of Governor Pat McCroy after passing with a 84-25 vote in the House, The News & Observer reports. After three hours of debate on Wednesday, all of the House Republicans voted in favor along with 11 Democrats. The Senate passed the bill with a 32-0 vote because the Democrats walked out in protest, stating that they did not feel included in the process.
While McCroy has not yet stated if he will sign, he is known to be against the city of Charlotte’s protections of LGBT-identified individuals.
Roy Cooper, the Democrat running against McCroy spoke out against the passing of the bill stating in a YouTube video that, “Discrimination is wrong, period. That North Carolina is putting discrimination into the law is shameful.”
And absolutely shameless.
$42,000 a day in taxpayer money was spent to reconvene the General Assembly leading up to this vote, all in an effort to stop Charlotte’s democratic process by taking away the city’s power to protect its citizens.