News (USA)

Lawmakers return to work on Charlotte transgender act

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina General Assembly will reconvene Wednesday to take up legislation that would attempt to override Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance, which also addresses transgender people and restrooms, legislative leaders announced Monday night.

Social conservatives and many Republican lawmakers say Charlotte went too far with the ordinance, which was approved last month but takes effect April 1. In particular, they’re upset because it allows transgender people to use restrooms that align with their gender identity, and they say sexual predators will use it as pretense to enter women’s bathrooms.

House Speaker Tim Moore and GOP Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, the Senate’s presiding officer, said they have obtained formal support from three-fifths of the lawmakers in both the House and Senate that the state constitution requires for the legislature to reconvene itself. Otherwise, their next regular session was set for April 25.

“We aim to repeal this ordinance before it goes into effect to provide for the privacy and protection of the women and children of our state,” Forest and Moore said in a release.

Moore said the session will start at 10 a.m. and should last one day. Each day the General Assembly meets in session costs the state $42,000. Legislative leaders have said they would like to pass legislation that would pre-empt other local governments from passing similar rules in the future, but it could cover more ground.

Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican who has also criticized the ordinance, would be asked to sign any bill coming to his desk. The General Assembly announced the session shortly after a key McCrory aide told legislators the governor would not call the session himself because of concerns it would cover “unrelated subject areas” beyond the bathroom issue.

In a phone interview Monday night, Moore, R-Cleveland, declined to provide details of the legislation, saying he first wanted to give other House members the chance to review it.

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