UPDATE (3/23 9:26 p.m.) – A spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory has said that he will sign the bill into law.
Both chambers of the North Carolina legislature passed a bill, HB2, invalidating all LGBT non-discrimination ordinances, calling a special session at $42,000 in response to Charlotte, N.C. expanding its non-discrimination ordinance.
While much of the rhetoric leading up to the vote had to do with the transgender bathroom and locker room protections, HB2 goes much further than that, going after all LGBT anti-discrimination protections.
It also prevents public schools from allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that coincide with their gender identity, leaves employment discrimination policies solely up to the state, as well as prohibiting cities and municipalities from raising their minimum wage requirements.
The bill passed in the House 84-25 after three hours of debate, with all the Republicans voting for it, along with 11 Democrats. It passed in the Senate 32-0 after Democrats walked out in protest, knowing it would pass.
State Rep. Grier Martin introduced an amendment to add protections for veteran status, sexual orientation and gender identity to the bill, which the assembly voted to table. The bill would also end anti-discrimination protections for veterans.
The bill now goes to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk. He has not said whether or not he will sign it. He has spoken out against the transgender protections in the bill in the past, but was also vocally against a special session.
Gov. McCrory’s Democratic opponent, Atty. Gen. Roy Cooper, came out against the bill, saying, “Discrimination is wrong, period. That North Carolina is making discrimination part of the law is shameful. It will not only cause real harm to families, but to our economy as well.”