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The state recently enacted a controversial law widely believed to discriminate against LGBT people, and transgender people in particular. Under the act, trans people are restricted from using bathrooms that correspond to their gender identities rather than what appears on their birth certificates; more broadly, the law strips away local protections for LGBT people. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory faces backlash from advocates to repeal it and the state’s Attorney General has called the act a “national embarrassment.”
Bowser’s order, “effective immediately,” notes that “ensuring individuals freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is a compelling government interest.” It adds that “the laws and policies of the District of Columbia should support the values of inclusiveness and respect for all.”
“To ensure a constant voice in policy and practice in the District of Columbia in favor of equal treatment for members of the LGBTQ communities, no officer or employee of the District of Columbia is authorized to approve any official travel to North Carolina until such time that the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act is permanently enjoined, repealed, or amended to allow local jurisdictions to enact laws protecting the LGBTQ communities from discrimination and to enact laws allowing persons to use restrooms that correspond to their gender identity,” the prohibition reads.
On Tuesday, the mayor signaled her opposition to the law on Twitter:
To LGBT friends and family across the US who face discrimination. You’re always welcome in DC, where u can love who u love and be who u are.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser (@MayorBowser) March 29, 2016
North Carolina, however, isn’t the only state that’s recently considered legislation that would make way for discrimination against LGBT people. Mississippi, for example, appears poised to enact a “religious liberty” law that would allow individuals, businesses, and organizations to deny certain services to the community.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery