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LGBT Witch-hunt: North Carolina no longer welcomes transgender travelers and residents

Mar 24, 2016

The North Carolina Senate voted 32-0 to ban all local LGBT Rights Ordinances.

North Carolina tourism boards like the city of Asheville are actively promoting to the domestic and international LGBT traveler.

Money spent by LGBT visitors in Asheville, NC, and many other communities has been an important part of the tourism economy.

This may be coming to an end if first calls for boycotting North Carolina as a travel destination safe for gay, lesbian, transgender travelers to enjoy a vacation are becoming louder.

Today is a black day for human rights in the State of North Carolina, and for the United States as a nation.

The North Carolina Senate voted unanimously, 32-0, to pass a bill approved by the House earlier today which bans all cities in the state from enacting LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances. It also voids all current LGBT rights ordinances on the books in North Carolina, such as the recently passed measure in Charlotte.

The vote took place after all Democrats had left. All Republicans present voted yes.

Does this go along with the official version of a welcoming tourism board in North Carolina reaching out to travelers that are now due to be discriminated at?

The Asheville LGBT Tourism website still reads:
Discover a very diverse community in Asheville! It's been a popular resort and relocation area for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) communities for many years. The large gay and lesbian community enjoys welcoming visitors, since most of them were once visitors before they fell in love with the area and relocated. Find many places to go and things to do.

In the meantime the ACLU is urging North Carolina governor McCrory to veto a bill that just the house and the senate in just one day.

The vote took place after all Democrats had left. All Republicans present voted yes.

The ACLU denounced the bill’s passage:

The Charlotte ordinance protected lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents from discrimination in public accommodations including restaurants, hotels, taxis and bathrooms. Among other protections, it allowed transgender men and transgender women to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity. HB2, which now goes to Governor Pat McCrory for his signature or veto, removes the ability of any local government to protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and requires all public facilities, including schools, to allow restroom access only on the basis of “biological sex.” It also jeopardizes the more than $4.5 billion in federal funding that North Carolina receives for secondary and post-secondary schools under Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination, including discrimination against transgender students.

“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. “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. Legislators have gone out of their way to stigmatize and marginalize transgender North Carolinians by pushing ugly and fundamentally untrue stereotypes that are based on fear and ignorance and not supported by the experiences of more than 200 cities with these protections. Transgender men are men; transgender women are women. They deserve to use the appropriate restroom in peace, just like everyone else. We urge Governor McCrory to veto this extreme, far reaching and misguided bill.”

The governor did not veto. In signing the bill today he said:
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on signing bill blocking Charlotte's transgender ordinance: 'The basic expectation of privacy in the most personal of settings, a restroom or locker room, for each gender was violated by government overreach and intrusion by the mayor and city council of Charlotte. This radical breach of trust and security under the false argument of equal access not only impacts the citizens of Charlotte but people who come to Charlotte to work, visit or play. This new government regulation defies common sense and basic community norms by allowing, for example, a man to use a woman's bathroom, shower or locker room... As a result, I have signed legislation passed by a bipartisan majority to stop this breach of basic privacy and etiquette.

More than 200 cities, including Myrtle Beach and Columbia, South Carolina, have adopted nondiscrimination ordinances similar to Charlotte’s without negative consequences.

LGBT Witch-hunt: North Carolina no longer welcomes transgender travelers and residents

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