NC Governor Backs Right to Sue Over Gender Discrimination

A wide-ranging law signed last month has drawn harsh criticism

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order Tuesday amid backlash against a new law affecting the rights of lesbian, gay and transgender people.

McCrory stands by the law — which mandates gender-specific restroom and locker room access in government buildings and schools — but wants lawmakers to restore the right to sue over gender discrimination in state court.

The wide-ranging bill, signed into law last month, drew harsh criticism nationwide, prompting businesses, celebrities and politicians to cancel events and boycott official travel to the southern state.

"After listening to people’s feedback for the past several weeks on this issue, I have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion, a lot of passion and frankly, selective outrage and hypocrisy, especially against the great state of North Carolina," McCrory said in a statement Tuesday. "Based upon this feedback, I am taking action to affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality."

He once again condemned a Charlotte ordinance passed earlier this year that allowed transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity.

The order would also expand North Carolina's equal employment policy to include "protections for sexual orientation and gender identity," making it one of 24 states with such provisions in place.

McCroy said he will ask lawmakers to file legislation that allows people to sue in state court over discrimination — which was wiped out by last month's law.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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