By Sunnivie Brydum
March 25 2016
Both Democratic presidential hopefuls condemned North Carolina’s unprecedented transphobic law Thursday, saying there’s no room for such blatant anti-LGBT animus in modern America.
House Bill 2 was introduced, passed by the North Carolina General Assembly, and signed by the state’s Republican governor in less than 24 hours, and effectively overturns existing local protections and prohibits any municipality statewide from enacting LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policies.
The law was hastily crafted and rammed through a special legislative session at lightning speed Wednesday in response to a Charlotte ordinance approved in February that guaranteed transgender people would be allowed to use the bathrooms, locker rooms, and other public accommodations that correspond with their gender identity. Opponents of the Charlotte ordinance rallied support for HB 2 by recycling the provably false claim that allowing transgender people to use the facilities that match their gender identities would threaten women and children. In reality, though more than 200 cities and towns have such trans-inclusive ordinances already in place, there has never been a single verified report of a transgender person attacking a cisgender (nontrans) person in a restroom, nor has anyone “pretended” to be transgender to gain access to women’s spaces for nefarious purposes.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was the first out of the gate to condemn North Carolina’s new law, sharing a tweet early Thursday morning from the National LGBTQ Task Force announcing that Gov. Pat McCrory had signed the bill into law.
“It’s time to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” Sanders wrote. “This law has no place in America.” A spokesperson with the campaign told the Washington Blade that Sanders similarly opposes a law passed this week in Kansas that allows faith-based student groups at publicly funded universities and colleges to reject LGBT members or others who do not subscribe to the beliefs of that particular faith.