- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Some North Carolina Hispanic pastors, chaplains and community leaders are throwing their voices behind the state’s law limiting antidiscrimination protections for LGBT people.

About 80 members of the Hispanic community rallied at the Legislative Building on Tuesday in support of the law that directs transgender people to use the bathroom that aligns with the sex on their birth certificate.

The gathering was immediately criticized by LGBT-advocacy groups Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign. Both groups released statements Tuesday calling the rally unacceptable and offensive two days after the shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub that killed 49 people.

The Hispanic ministers said the law preserves safety and privacy for women and children in bathrooms.

“We hear so much on the news about discrimination. It has nothing to do with that at all. HB2 has to do with common sense,” the Rev. Dan Rodriguez of Winston Salem Calvary Jail Ministries said.

Mecklenburg County Jail chaplain Daniel Busquetts said the law follows Biblical order and praised the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory for upholding it.

Speakers criticized the Sunday shooting as an act of terror and prayed for the victims’ families.

“We really have to take our heart to Florida right now and keep praying for the families for the parents that are in deep pain. We don’t want that to be repeated anywhere where else in the USA,” said the Rev. Luis Colon of Winston-Salem’s Iglesia: La Nueva Jerusalen ‘Ciudad de Dios.’

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