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@NCCapitol

McCrory opposes Charlotte bathroom law but doesn't want a special session

Posted February 29

Restroom, bathroom

— Gov. Pat McCrory says lawmakers should wait until their scheduled return on April 25 to address Charlotte's new ordinance on transgender rights rather than call a special session in the next two months.

"My inclination is to support efforts to have a bill introduced as soon as we come into short session," McCrory said Monday afternoon.

He said the cost of calling lawmakers back early was a primary concern. It costs about $42,000 per day to operate the state legislature during a special session.

McCrory, a Republican, said he wants the Charlotte ordinance addressed quickly "so we can move on to other priority items."

Last week, House Speaker Tim Moore began asking other House Republicans whether they would be willing to return to Raleigh to take up the issue. The Charlotte ordinance goes into effect on April 1.

"While special sessions are costly, we cannot put a price tag on the safety of women and children," Moore wrote to members on Wednesday.

Reaction to Moore's inquiry was mixed, with some lawmakers eager to return and other more circumspect about the need.

A spokeswoman for Moore said he was "still gauging interest" among Republican House members regarding a special session.

As governor, McCrory can call lawmakers back to work at any time. The legislature also has a mechanism by which House and Senate members can call themselves back to session, but the process is cumbersome.

It appears State Senate President Pro Temp Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, agrees with McCrory.

"Charlotte City Council’s decision to allow men to share public bathrooms with little girls and women has clearly raised a lot of concern across the state. As of today, the earliest the legislature could take any action would be April 25," a spokeswoman for Berger said Monday afternoon.

The Charlotte measure broadly defines how businesses must treat gay, lesbian and transgender customers, but as in other cities recently, the debate has focused on bathrooms. In particular, the ordinance would allow men and women who identify as something other than their birth gender to use the bathroom in which they are most comfortable.

This has provoked a backlash among social conservatives and others who make the case that it will open the way for sexual predators to harass women and girls. Activists for the rights of transgendered individuals say they there is little evidence that would-be molesters would take advantage of such a law. Rather, it would be cases in which, for example, a person presents as a woman but is forced to used the men's room that could be problematic.

McCrory clearly sides against the ordinance. He did not have a specific vision for what the law would look like, but he said he is working with legislative leaders so that there would be one set of rules for bathroom usage statewide.

"We need to respect the privacy of women and children and men in a very private place, and that's our restrooms and locker rooms," McCrory said. "To have many different cities and towns coming up with their own ordinance in how to deal with restrooms and locker rooms is, I don't think, good for our state."

McCrory is running for re-election this year, and his likely Democratic challenger is Attorney General Roy Cooper. Thus far, Cooper has not made a public statement regarding the Charlotte ordinance, although he did refuse to align North Carolina in court with a Virginia school district that is fighting a discrimination lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking to allow a transgender high school student in that state to use the men's bathroom.

The North Carolina Republican Party has been pressuring Cooper to take a stand on the Charlotte matter, and on Monday questioned whether donations to his campaign by advocates for the transgender rights ordinance were influencing his decision.

"The governor and legislature should stop playing politics and start focusing on creating good high paying jobs and making education a priority. State law can't be pre-empted by a local ordinance. Acts that were a crime before this ordinance are still a crime," said Jamal Little, a spokesman for Cooper's campaign.

15 Comments

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  • Fanny Chmelar Mar 2, 2016
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    Hawaii, Vegas, Vermont, Maine, Minneapolis, Colorado, Oregon, Rhode Island, Connecticut, for starters... That's just in our country, there are laws outside the US, too.

    Google is your friend.

    Chaz hasn't discussed bottom surgery in public (GRS for FTM doesn't always include phalloplasty). So, let's take his genitals off the table since they're indeterminate (and kind of creepy to fixate on). Are you advocating that everyone drop their pants for inspection before entering a rest room? Should there be bathroom police to check everyone? Please tell us how this would work.Regarding your "trans-panic" statements and "now they'll need urinals in the women's room" comments stink of fear, paranoia, and slippery-slope arguments.

    I've provided enough information for you to do some of your own homework now. Think I said something wrong? Please show me where (I'm not afraid to admit error). And "well, I think ...." is only opinion.

  • Roy Hinkley Mar 2, 2016
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    I don't believe those rights (not seeing things you don't want to see and not feeling icky in public) are enumerated in either the US or NC Constitutions. You're confusing access to a bathroom with committing a crime. If a person (of any gender) commits a crime in a bathroom, the least important thing is how they got in the bathroom. Being allowed to be there is in no way an affirmative defense against a crime.

  • Roy Pine Mar 2, 2016
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    You seem awfully obsessed with schlongs...

    If you knew a trans person, you'd know that they don't walk around parading their genitalia in a public restroom anymore than a cis person does or should. Would you be okay with a grown woman walking around in the women's bathroom showing off her goods to the world?

  • Chance Loria Mar 1, 2016
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    Once AGAIN Yashi, you either fail to comprehend things or you jump to conclusions and fail to actually read period! Your example of Chaz Bono doesn't hold water. He has gad reassignment surgery. As I already mentioned, my belief is that it should go by anatomy. Chaz Bono HAS male anatomy.

  • Chance Loria Mar 1, 2016
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    I have said absolutely nothing bias against transgender community. I am only concerned about the fallout of an actual law.

    You act like you know so much about this. You sight ambiguous terms such as "in places". Where is your data? Where are these places?

  • Chance Loria Mar 1, 2016
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    The right to feel safe in a designated public facility and not have our little girls exposed to things they shouldn't be exposed to. Should Caitlin Jenner get to walk around nude in the locker room at the local pool flapping her schlong around my little girl? The right to take my little girl into a women's public facility without her being exposed to male anatomy. That right! The right to feel safe in a public bathroom. That right! As soon as a law is passed every non-tranny unsavory freak will be using it as an excuse to be in the women's bathroom. How do you control that? As a law the burden of proof will now be on the cops not the molester in the bathroom.

  • Fanny Chmelar Mar 1, 2016
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    Criminals need no excuses to commit crimes. They already do, and always will. In places where these laws went into effect, there has been no reported "I'm going to put on a dress before I rape someone" situations. The only "bathroom danger" one was proved to be an anti-trans activist trying to make a point.

    I've considered the flip side of the argument. I was the flip side of the argument. Then I decided to go learn more about the issues as I recognized I was being judgmental without facts. Facts such as how exactly one goes through being recognized as being trans. It's not "oh, hi, yeah, I'm trans now." That's misconception #1 and, because it drives your position on this, it follows that your entire argument falls to pieces.

    Please, do review your own questions and find the answers. There is a lot of information out there on this. Hopefully legislators do the same (I'm sure I'd see a flying pig first).

  • Fanny Chmelar Mar 1, 2016
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    Look at a picture of Chaz Bono. Would you want him to be required to use the women's rest room? Is that what would make women feel comfortable?

    How about someone like Caroline Cossey being told to use the men's room?

    If you know any trans people, you'd immediately wonder why the ---- these legislators and McCrory are concerned about crimes. It's like they love to chew on red herrings.

    As far as SCOTUS, I think it'd be ridiculous to get to the point where we need Judges to tell us where we can go to the bathroom (although we did in the 60s!). I'd like to think our society is better than this, but there are going to be die-hard anti-anything-not-like-me folks out there so if it goes there, so be it. Individual liberties win.

    And as Dale pointed out, we're not a pure democracy.

  • Roy Hinkley Mar 1, 2016
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    I'm unclear on what rights you think are being taken from women and children.

  • Chance Loria Mar 1, 2016
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    Also, to your point, do we now add urinals to the women's bathroom for the transgenders? That would be next you know. Do I now need to walk my young daughter past a visible part of the male anatomy? Most public bathroom stalls have visible gaps. So even without urinals little children will still be able to see the trannies schlong in the women's bathroom. Did you ever consider that?

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