North Carolina Governor Amends Anti-LGBT Law

It may become necessary to show your birth certificate to use bathrooms in North Carolina's public schools and government buildings.

It may become necessary to show your birth certificate to use bathrooms in North Carolina’s public schools and government buildings.

It took the North Carolina General Assembly ten hours to pass legislation mandating that gender-segregated bathrooms be used by people according to the sex listed on their birth certificates and prohibiting anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people. Governor Pat McCrory signed the legislation into law the same day it was passed. Twenty 20 days later, after much outcry, the Governor signed an Executive Order that amends the law.

The Executive Order gives businesses the right to make their own policy regarding use of restrooms, locker rooms and/or showers; however, that part of the law requiring people to use bathrooms that matched the gender on their birth certificates is still in effect for public schools and government buildings. Other parts of the law also remain unchanged. The Governor said he would urge the General Assembly in an upcoming session to reinstate the right to sue for discrimination in state courts.

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU) and other civil rights groups criticized the governor’s action for leaving the bathroom provision and other elements of the law intact. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement, “Governor McCrory’s executive order is a day late and a veto short. The sweeping discrimination law he signed has already cost North Carolina hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue.”

Included in the loss of business are Pay Pal (400 jobs) who said it would not build a new facility in the state because of the law and Deutsche Bank (250 jobs) who decided not to expand in the state because of the law.

A tourism agency in Raleigh said the law could cost the region millions of dollars in canceled events. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band cancelled a concert “to show solidarity with the freedom fighters contesting the law.” According to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau five groups have canceled events in the Wake County region which would have brought more than $732,000 to the local economy. Another 16 groups are changing their minds about holding events in the area; these groups could bring $24 million to the region.

The law is the subject of a federal lawsuit. The ACLU has said the Executive Order changes nothing; the lawsuit will proceed.

 

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