North Carolina passes bill to void all LGBT protections
The US state of North Carolina has passed a law which voids all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights.
The bill, HB 2, which was passed by the General Assembly with 83-24, and after only three hours of debate.
The Senate also passed the bill, which will now go to Governor Pat McCrory to be signed.
As he called for the legislation, the Governor is fully expected to sign it.
Before the senate voted 32-0, eleven Democrats in the Republican-controlled Senate, walked out in an unprecedented move.
They walked out rather than debate the bill.
Democrats in the House also criticised the bill for taking away protections from those who need it most.
The bill was passed after lawmakers called a special session to debate it, rather than waiting until the next sitting at the end of April.
It specifies that all local nondiscrimination ordinances are now void.
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The Charlotte City Council last month passed a bill that among other things, would have allowed people to use bathrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities based on their gender identity.
The measure – which passed 7-4 – would have also offered greater protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It is now void.
HB 2 also states all employment discrimination ordinances, minimum wage ordinances, and public accommodations ordinances must come from the state’s General Assembly.
This means local politicians are unable to provide protections in these areas.
North Carolina has been criticised by LGBT rights groups for moving hastily to try to end the protections.