|GOP House Speaker Tim Moore and GOP bill sponsor Rep. Dan Bishop|
Confirming fears I noted yesterday, the Republican controlled North Carolina legislature has passed a sweeping anti-LGBT bill that will rescind all LGBT non-discrimination ordinances across the state. Is suspect that tonight LGBT North Carolinians must feel like German Jews did in the early stages of Hitler's rise to power when the first anti-Jewish laws began to be promulgated. Equally disgusting is GOP Governor promise this evening that he will sign "immediately." One can only hope that Virginia will immediately reach out to businesses appalled by North Carolina's lurch toward hate and bigotry and assure them that Virginia is business friendly and will not persecute their LGBT employees. As for the Democrats in the North Carolina House, these foul individuals need to be subjected to primary challenges as soon as possible. I for one will boycott North Carolina and avoid spending a single penny in North Carolina or with a North Carolina based business. Here are highlights on this animus based legislation from the Charlotte Observer:
The N.C. General Assembly on Wednesday approved a bill that invalidates Charlotte’s new legal protections for LGBT individuals, doing far more than striking down a controversial provision that allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.
The vote in the House was 84-25 after three hours of debate, with all Republicans voting for it and 11 Democrats breaking ranks with their party to support the bill.
In the Senate, the vote was 32-0 after the Democrats walked out in protest, saying they had not been allowed to participate in the process.
“We witnessed an affront to democracy,” said Democratic Sen. Dan Blue of Raleigh, the minority leader. “We will not be silent.”
Dana Fenton, the city of Charlotte’s lobbyist, said the bill would invalidate the city’s newly expanded nondiscrimination ordinance, passed in a 7-4 City Council vote in February. He said he believes the state’s largest employers will lobby the governor to veto it.
“I think you will see corporations, not just those in N.C., weighing in on this,” he said. “I think they will put pressure on the governor.”
But Raleigh station WRAL reported that McCrory would sign the bill into law late Wednesday.
The full bill wasn’t made public until Wednesday morning. Until then, it was unclear whether the legislators would target only the bathroom provision, or whether they would go further and strike down the rest of the ordinance.
The impetus of the special session was a provision in Charlotte’s expanded nondiscrimination ordinance that would allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender with which they identify.
But it also would keep Charlotte and any other municipality from adding new protections for gays, lesbians or transgender individuals.
In North Carolina today, there are no legal protections for gays and lesbians. That means a private business in Charlotte or anywhere else in the state can refuse to serve someone who is gay, and a bakery could refuse to make a cake for a wedding of a gay couple.
In Charlotte, that would have changed as of April 1, when the expanded ordinance is scheduled to go into effect. The protected classes recognized by the state would be race, color, national origin and biological sex.
The bill also prohibits K-12 public schools, and publicly funded universities and colleges from having multistall transgender bathrooms. Critics said that could jeopardize federal funding for education. The only transgender people who would be exempt would be those who had the sex on their birth certificate legally changed.
One opponent of the bill told senators that the legislation would have unintended consequences. The speaker asked them to consider the case of someone born as a female, but who now identifies as a man, with a beard made possible through hormones. That person will be required to use a women’s bathroom.
Personally, I hope the U.S. Department of Education notifies all North Carolina school divisions that their federal funding will be withdrawn if they comply with this hate based legislation. Meanwhile, I can't wait for a lawsuit challenging the bill which is unconstitutional under the United States Supreme Court holding in Romer v. Evans. As for self-styled evangelical Christians, I have nothing for disgust for them and their decision to embrace ignorance and bigotry. I want nothing to do with them and I long for the day when they become the social pariahs that they deserve to be. In their own way, they are no better than members of ISIS.