North Carolina city extend transgender rights

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North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte, has voted to extend transgender rights – despite the Governor threatening state intervention.

The City Council passed a bill that among other things, will allow people to use bathrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities based on their gender identity.

The measure – which passed 7-4 – will also offer greater protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“I’m pleased that Charlotte has sent a signal that we will treat people with dignity and respect, even when we disagree,” Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said.

North Carolina’s Governor, Pat McCrory, who was a former mayor of the city, had previously threatened to intervene, if the city was to pass the bill.

He said that the ordinances could have state-wide implications.

Ms Roberts said she has not been contacted by the Governor since the vote.

The issue is one that has formed part of a wider discussion across the country, with states and local authorities taking a variety of views.

Although it has yet to be signed into law by the state’s Governor, South Dakota was the first state to pass a bill forcing trans people to use bathrooms based on their assigned gender.

Following the vote in Charlotte, advocacy group Equality NC, said Mr McCrory was “perpetuating the same tired and debunked myths about transgender people and public safety.”

It added that it was unacceptable “to bully the Charlotte City Council with threats to strip municipalities of their rights to govern.”

Others who attended the vote were in favour of the Governor’s actions.

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of NC Values Coalition, said: “I applaud Gov. McCrory for having the sense to throw out this unreasonable and unnecessary ordinance.

“You can guarantee yourself at least a lawsuit or the General Assembly coming against what you’ve done.”