The North Carolina House of Representatives and Senate on Wednesday (23 March) quickly passed a bill that seeks to ban all cities in the state from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances protecting LGBTI people.
The legislation passed the House during a special session 83-25 within an hour of being introduced.
A short time later, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 32-0. Democrats refused to vote on the bill and walked out.
‘We’re not participating in this effort to roll back the clock in this state,” said Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue.
The bill is aimed at thwarting an LGBTI rights ordinance in Charlotte due to take effect on 1 April.
The State legislature was not due back in session until late next month but lawmakers rushed through the vote due to a provision in the Charlotte ordinance that would allow transgender people to use restrooms and other facilities according to the gender which they identify.
‘What we’re doing is preserving a sense of privacy that people have long expected in private facilities and we are restoring and clarifying … the existing authority and limits of authority of local government,’ said bill sponsor Dan Bishop, a Republican who represents Charlotte.
The final House vote for passage included all the Republicans in the House as well as Democratic lawmakers Larry Bell, William Brisson, Elmer Floyd, Ken Goodman, Charles Graham, George Graham, Ed Hanes, Garland Pierce, Robert Reives and Ed Wray, according to the Charlotte Observer.