North Carolina enacts law barring local municipalities from adopting ordinances allowing transgender individuals to use public restrooms of the gender they identify as being
CNN reports that North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has signed into law legislation blocking cities from allowing transgender individuals to use public bathrooms of the gender they identify with and restricting cities from passing nondiscrimination laws. The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act (PFPSA) puts in place a statewide policy that bans individuals from using public bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex.
The PFPSA also reserves the right to pass nondiscrimination legislation to the state government only, stating that state laws preempt any local ordinances. The General Assembly went into special session earlier in the day to push through the legislation, a response to a nondiscrimination ordinance that the city of Charlotte enacted that, among other things, made it possible for transgender individuals to use the public bathroom of the sex with which they identify. The move enraged civil liberties groups and Democrats in the state. The bill passed the state House 82-26 and the state Senate 32-0, with Senate Democrats walking out and not voting in protest.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) and other groups criticized the General Assembly for spending the money on a special session to pass the legislation, which they called rushed through and undemocratic. “Legislators have gone out of their way to stigmatize and marginalize transgender North Carolinians by pushing ugly and fundamentally untrue stereotypes that are based on fear and ignorance and not supported by the experiences of more than 200 cities with these protections,” said ACLU-NC acting executive director Sarah Preston.
Source: CNN, 3/24/16, By Tai Kopan
[Editor’s Note: The enacted bill states that it applies to “BATHROOM AND CHANGING FACILITIES IN SCHOOLS AND PUBLIC AGENCIES.”
In February 2016, Legal Clips summarized an Associated Press article in the Seattle pi reporting that the Charlotte, North Carolina city council had enacted a city ordinance that allowed transgender people to use bathrooms based on the gender with which they identify, even if it’s different from their anatomy at birth. The ordinance was approved by a vote of 7-to-4, adding “sexual orientation,” ”gender identity” and “marital status” as attributes protected from discrimination when it comes to public accommodations in restaurants, retail stores and other businesses.]