Following Charlotte’s expansion of protections for transgender people last month, Republicans in the North Carolina state legislator convened a special session on March 23 in order to block that progressive ordinance.
But instead of destroying just the one, they passed legislation that blocks all LGBT non-discrimination ordinances passed by any local government across the entire state. It also protects businesses that discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Taking it one step further, state lawmakers forbade North Carolina cities from raising the minimum wage with living wage ordinances.
“This is sadly unsurprising from a party that seems determined to stay stuck in the Stone Age on LGBT equality. From their refusal to accept marriage equality as the law of the land, to their disingenuous ‘free speech’ and ‘religious freedom’ justifications for discrimination, Republicans are hurting Americans who deserve the full and equal protection of the law. Now the same state lawmakers who pretend to love limited government are steamrolling over local officials just because they had the courage to stand up for transgender rights. Our friends in the LGBT community deserve better and so do all the people of North Carolina,” said DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Less than ten hours after it was introduced, the bill unanimously passed the Republican-controlled Senate, after every Democratic Senator walked out of the chamber in protest, according to BuzzFeed News.