North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has signed a sweeping new law banning local governments from passing laws prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people in public accommodations. The bill comes after Charlotte, North Carolina, passed an ordinance protecting the right of transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. The new statewide law, HB 2, not only blocks Charlotte’s ordinance, but it will prohibit all local governments from passing similar anti-discrimination measures. The North Carolina Legislature convened an emergency session Wednesday to push through the bill, which passed both the House and Senate, despite the fact that Senate Democrats walked out in protest. Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue issued a statement saying, “This is a direct affront to equality, civil rights and local autonomy.” On Wednesday, transgender activist Lara Americo spoke out.
Lara Americo: “The true emergencies in North Carolina are subpar public schools, gerrymandered elections and the need for clean drinking water. This special session is hindering my rights as a transgender woman and the rights of the LGBT community. It’s also hindering Charlotte’s ability to govern itself. This is not how taxpayers’ money should be spent.”