North Carolina governor signs bill regulating transgender bathroom use, limiting local governance

Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill forcing transgender people to use their birth-gender bathroom
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

On Wednesday night, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed a bill that prohibits transgender people in the state from using a restroom or locker room that doesn't match the gender on their birth certificate, bars local governments from passing their own anti-discrimination laws, and bans municipalities from raising the minimum wage above the state level. The Republican-controlled state legislature had called an emergency session on Tuesday to pass the bill, at a cost of $42,000, in order to quash an anti-discrimination ordinance set to take effect in Charlotte on April 1.

The hastily crafted law — which puts in place a statewide nondiscrimination measure that doesn't mention gay or transgender people — passed in the state House, 82-26, and unanimously in the Senate after every Democrat walked out in protest. "We choose not to participate in this farce," explained Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue (D). Republicans argued that the bill was necessary to ensure public safety and preserve the primacy of state law over local measures. "It's common sense — biological men should not me be in women's showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms," said Rep. Dean Arp (R) before the measure passed.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.