Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Special Session Bill Would Ban ALL LGBT Rights In North Carolina

Anti-Gay Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R)
As ISIS engages in terror attacks and mass murder, North Carolina Republicans are set to commit their own version of religious terrorism. As WSOCTV  and the Charlotte Observer are reporting, the Republican controlled North Carolina legislature is about to consider a bill that would not only rescind the City of Charlotte's recently passed pro-LGBT ordinance, but outlaw LGBT rights state wide.  The move sounds very similar to what was attempted in Colorado and struck down as unconstitutional by the U. S. Supreme Court in Romer v. Evans.  But then, one can never accuse today's Republicans ever learning from the past, especially if their batshitery will excite the Christofascists in the party base.   Here are story highlights:

Proposed legislation for Wednesday’s unusual special General Assembly session wasn’t released publicly Tuesday, but legislative leaders indicate the bill could go well beyond a Charlotte ordinance on transgender bathroom use.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest posted a formal proclamation calling for the special session Tuesday afternoon. It says the legislature will meet starting at 10 a.m. to consider proposals “to provide for single-sex multiple occupancy bathroom and changing facilities and to create statewide consistency in regulation of employment and public accommodations.”

The proclamation was the first mention of employment regulations in reference to plans for the special session. Forest and House Speaker Tim Moore signed the proclamation.

Andy Munn, a spokesman for Moore, declined to provide a copy of the draft legislation and said it probably wouldn’t be made public until Wednesday – hours before it comes to a first vote. “There are still a few tweaks to be made to it,” he said.

Munn wouldn’t provide details of the proposal under consideration.  House Minority Leader Larry Hall, a Durham Democrat, called on Moore to release the bill so legislators can consider what they’ll be voting on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reported that it obtained a copy of one draft of the bill. That draft, according to The AP, “would appear to pre-empt completely what Charlotte added to its non-discrimination ordinance and prevent local governments from passing similar acts.”

Lobbyist Theresa Kostrzewa also obtained a draft version and posted sections of it on Twitter. One potential provision would ban cities and counties from regulating employment practices, including setting a higher minimum wage. Another would prevent counties from requiring government contractors to uphold specific employment practices.

The N.C. League of Municipalities and the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition said they could not comment on possible curbs to local government control until the bill is introduced.

The special session is in response to the Charlotte City Council’s recent vote to expand protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, including a provision that will allow transgender people to use the restroom and locker room facilities of the gender with which they identify. The ordinance goes into effect April 1.

Governors typically call special sessions, but Gov. Pat McCrory refused to call Wednesday’s session because he was concerned the legislature would go beyond addressing the Charlotte ordinance.

That meant legislative leaders opted for a rarely used law that allows special sessions when three-fifths of legislators in both chambers support the call. That provision in the state constitution hasn’t been used since 1981, according to Forest’s chief of staff, Hal Weatherman.

In the Senate, 31 Republicans backed the session. Only three GOP senators didn’t: Sen. Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville, Sen. Tamara Barringer of Cary and Sen. Fletcher Hartsell of Concord. All House Republicans except Rep. Charles Jeter of Mecklenburg County and Rep. Chuck McGrady of Hendersonville backed the call to session.

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