- Associated Press - Thursday, March 24, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on reaction to a North Carolina law that overturned Charlotte’s bid to extend anti-discrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents ordinance and stops other local governments from passing similar regulations. (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

Some corporations have raised concerns about a law signed by Gov. Pat McCrory blocking rules that protect people based on sexual orientation and gender identity when they eat out or hail a cab.

But a spokesman for McCrory says they’ve gotten positive responses from businesses since the bill’s passage.

Ricky Diaz works on McCrory’s re-election campaign. He wrote Thursday evening that many businesses agree with the governor that the Charlotte City Council shouldn’t have made it in an issue in the first place by passing the ordinance last month.

The governor has said city leaders overstepped when they agreed transgender people can use restrooms and locker rooms aligned with their gender identity. McCrory says it threatened the basic privacy the public expects in these facilities. Others argue Charlotte violated the state constitution by passing the ordinance.

Diaz didn’t immediately respond to a request to identify businesses that support McCrory.

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8:10 p.m.

Gay-rights advocates say they’ll repeal a law approved by the North Carolina legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory restricting anti-discrimination ordinances by walking the halls of the Legislative Building, fighting in the courts and winning at the ballot box.

At least 400 people gathered at a Raleigh church to rally members of the LGBT community Thursday evening, the day after the legislation passed. Joni Madison with the Human Rights Campaign and other speakers vowed to elect Democrat Roy Cooper over McCrory and kick legislators out of office.

Sarah Preston with the state American Civil Liberties Union announced that groups will go to court “as soon as possible” to challenge the new law. And Chris Sgro with Equality North Carolina said work would continue later this spring to overturn the law at the General Assembly.

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7:45 p.m.

The National Basketball Association says it is too early to know if a new North Carolina law overturning Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance will prevent the city from hosting the league’s all-star game in 2017.

The NBA in a statement called the law passed Wednesday discriminatory and said it is deeply concerned it runs counter to the league’s guiding principles of equality and mutual respect.

The NBA says it is too early to decide what the league might do with next year’s All-Star game.

The North Carolina General Assembly passed and Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation barring local laws that would extend anti-discrimination protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.

The law overrides a Charlotte ordinance expanding LGBT protections due to take effect April 1.

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7:30 p.m.

About 200 protesters blocked a Raleigh street in front of North Carolina’s Executive Mansion to protest the new state law that overturned Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance and stopped other local governments from passing similar regulations.

A spokesman for Gov. Pat McCrory said he was not in the home during the Thursday evening protest.

McCrory signed the bill Wednesday after it passed in just hours during a special session of the General Assembly.

The act bars any local laws that would extend anti-discrimination protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents and was directed at an ordinance passed by Charlotte set to take effect April 1.

Protester 29-year-old Alex Berkman of Raleigh says the bill was rushed to prevent opposition. He says the law shuts off his path to equal civil rights enjoyed by others.

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4 p.m.

Corporations are expressing disappointment that North Carolina lawmakers banned local measures to expand anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

American Airlines operates its second-largest hub in Charlotte. An airline spokeswoman said Thursday that laws allowing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers and employees are bad for the economy. Biotech company Biogen says the law approved Wednesday undermines equality.

The payments processor PayPal said last week it plans to hire 400 employees at a new Charlotte operations center. The California-based company says it’s disappointed by the North Carolina law.

The NCAA says it’s monitoring the situation and takes diversity into account when it chooses its event sites. Men’s college basketball tournament games are planned in Greensboro in 2017 and Charlotte in 2018.

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4:30 a.m.

Gay-rights leaders and civil liberties groups aren’t giving up after North Carolina legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory overturned Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance and stopped other local governments from passing similar regulations.

The national Human Rights Campaign, state chapter of American Civil Liberties Union and Equality North Carolina was organizing a rally Thursday at a Raleigh church to discuss the law approved Wednesday by the legislature and signed by the governor.

Charlotte’s ordinance was supposed to take effect April 1, but the Republican-led General Assembly stepped in and blocked it. They also stopped other cities and counties from passing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. And public schools must require bathrooms or locker rooms be designated for use only by people based on their biological sex.

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