More than 50 activists arrested for protesting North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law
Thousands of activists gathered at the North Carolina legislature as it reconvened for the first time since enacting a the controversial law.
More than 50 critics of North Carolina’s HB2 law have been arrested after entering and refusing to leave the state’s legislature building in Raleigh.
At least 54 protesters were arrested as pro and anti LGBT rights demonstrators descended on the state capital to protest or support the controversial law.
Eighteen protesters were arrested on “building violations” charges and others were arrested and accused of staying in the building after it closed for the evening, according to Officer Scott Cameron of the General Assembly Police.
All but one will be charged with second-degree trespassing, acting general assembly police chief Martin Brock said.
The protest started yesterday morning, when 200 people gathered on the grounds of the old Capitol building to hear speakers denounce the law.
By mid-afternoon their numbers had swelled to between 600 and 800.
“We won’t do HB 2,” they chanted. “North Carolina sticks together.”
They were joined by hundreds of Christian conservatives, who gathered behind the legislative building to praise governor Pat McCrory for passing the restrictions.
“HB2 compounds the discrimination and marginalisation of the transgender community, who already have to fight every day for their survival,” said Joaquin Carcano, a trans man who’s suing over the law.
“Our privacy and safety matter too. Our right to feel safe and protected in this world does not infringe on anyone else’s right to the same.”
North Carolina Democrats leant their support to the protestors yesterday, filing a bill which attempts to repeal the damaging anti-LGBT law.
However, it has been met with a frosty reception from Republican lawmakers, who are apparently undeterred despite the heavy price paid by the state.
The state has lost a string of big investment ventures over Governor McCrory’s decision not to veto an anti-LGBT law which voided all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, bans transgender students in public schools from using their preferred bathroom, and permits businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.
McCrory continues to insist the changes are “common sense”, despite legal action threatening to cost the state millions, combined with thousands of job losses.