On Wednesday evening, the North Carolina legislature passed a bill overturning every local LGBT anti-discrimination measure in the state and requiring that individuals use the restroom of the biological sex on their birth certificate.
The bill, which was written in response to an anti-discrimination measure in Charlotte, was introduced five minutes before a committee was forced to vote on it, which meant that many representatives hadn’t even had a chance to read it. Republicans subsequently rushed it through the House and Senate (with many Democrats walking out in protest), before being signed by Gov. Pat McCrory hours later, noting that it was “passed by a bipartisan majority to stop this breach of basic privacy and etiquette.”
The New York Times reports:
Republicans stressed that the bill was passed not just to protect women and children from unwanted and potentially dangerous intrusions by biological males, but also to clarify legislative authority. On the House floor, Representative Dan Bishop, a Republican who sponsored the bill, described Charlotte’s decision to enact an anti-discrimination measure as an “egregious overreach.” With the state bill, he said, “What we are doing is preserving a sense of privacy people have long expected.
“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 Sarah Preston, the acting executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina in a statement.
The Wednesday sessions heard testimony from people on both sides of the debate. Chloe Jefferson, a junior at Greenville Christian Academy said, “Girls like me should never be made to shower and undress in front of boys.” What Jefferson doesn’t seem to understand is that showering in front of boys has never been a thing anyone wants her to do.
“I can’t use the men’s room. I won’t go back. It is unsafe for me,” said Madeleine Gause, a transgender woman from Hickory, North Carolina. “And it freaks people out when I go to the men’s room. Would you want to go to the men’s room with me?”
“People aren’t getting raped and murdered. They are just going to the bathroom.”
Image via AP.