North Carolina Makes Discrimination Mandatory with Most Anti-LGBT Law in the Nation

In a shocking, unprecedented move, the North Carolina state legislature convened a special session late Wednesday in order to introduce and pass a sweeping anti-LGBT bill, HB-2, which overturns local ordinances protecting gay and transgender rights.

Republican Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill into law later that night.

“Rather than expand nondiscrimination laws to protect all North Carolinians, the General Assembly instead spent $42,000 to rush through an extreme bill that undoes all local nondiscrimination laws and specifically excludes gay and transgender people from legal protections,” said Sarah Preston, acting Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina, in a statement.

Exposing the hateful logic of the bill, Zack Ford summarized the legislation in ThinkProgress this way:

The Washington Post reported, “State lawmakers pushed the measure in response to a nondiscrimination ordinance adopted in the city of Charlotte that, among other things, allowed people to use the bathroom that matched with their gender identity.”

Observers describe the bill as more far-reaching and extreme than Indiana’s so-called “Religious Freedom and Restoration Act,” passed last year, which allows the violation of anti-discrimination laws “under the guise of religious freedom,” as Common Dreams reported.

As the Charlotte Observer wrote, since HB-2 has been passed the “only protected classes recognized by the state will be race, color, national origin and biological sex.”

Preston noted, “The manner in which legislators passed the most extreme anti-LGBT bill in the nation—voting hours after it was unveiled without adequate public debate—flies in the face of fairness and democracy.”

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One Democratic senator described the discriminatory legislation and the rushed “bait-and-switch” legislative process in a Facebook post before the bill reached the senate floor:

“We witnessed an affront to democracy,” said Democratic Sen. Dan Blue of Raleigh, the minority leader, to the Charlotte Observer. “We will not be silent.”

Outraged North Carolinians are expressing their condemnation for the bill on social media under the hashtag #wearenotthis.

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