On Wednesday March 23rd, the congress of North Carolina did the unthinkable in 2016: they passed an anti-LGBT law. This law, allows local governments to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. It states that all public schools, government agencies, and college campuses will be required to designate that their bathrooms are to only be used by people based on their biological sex. A complete setback for the transgender community.
If this law is cruel by itself, so was the way that the bill was signed. This law was designed to negate a previous law in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was supposed to be put into effect on April 1st, that would have protected LGBT people from discrimination in housing and public accommodations. A special session of the NC state congress was called without giving the public or other members of the Senate any time to review it. The lawmakers in the House overwhelmingly voted 83-25 with the majority of Republican votes. The Senate then approved the bill in a 32-0 vote, unanimous only because the Democratic state senators were so disgusted by the bill, they refused to vote and walked out.
Governor Pat McCrory who signed the bill in a matter of hours, stated the reason that he signed it was because "the previous Charlotte ordinance defies common sense and basic community norms by allowing a man to use a woman's bathroom, shower or locker room." Ignorance at its finest. If a transgender woman wants to use a woman's bathroom, she should be able to. If a transgender man wants to use a men's bathroom, he should be able to.
Not only does this law give North Carolina a bad reputation but it is also making it known that our country has no problem taking a step back in the wrong direction, especially since many other states have thought about enacting a similar bill. If this law was accepted even though the federal government bans transgender discrimination, what could be next? It is allowing people in power to create new justifications for wanting to strip other peoples protection, which is too scary to even think about.