Earlier this year, the City of Charlotte passed an ordinance allowing people to access locker room and bathroom facilities based on their gender identity or gender expression.
Today, however, the North Carolina General Assembly responded by passing the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act and sending the bill to Governor Pat McRory who has promised to signed the bill.
The General Assembly called a special session to deal with the issue.
The legislation protects the safety and privacy of businesses, women, and children by clarifies that bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers are limited to persons of the same biological sex. It further clarifies that the State, not local cities and municipalities, is responsible to regulate the matter.
The bill passed with broad, bi-partisan support clearing the House 83-24 and passing the Senate 32-0.
The bill is similar to an initiative announced by Just Want Privacy, that aims to repeal the Human Rights Commissions open bathroom policy, remove liability for businesses who maintain gender specific bathrooms, and require schools to maintain gender specific open changing areas.
The move in North Carolina follows a vote in Houston last November where the city of Houston voted 61% to 39% to repeal an ordinance that would have allowed men in the women’s bathrooms.