RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on the response to a North Carolina law that limits anti-discrimination regulations by local governments (all times local):
9:15 p.m. CDT
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says not only will he ban the use of city funds for nonessential travel to North Carolina because of a law eliminating anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays and bisexuals, but he will also try to poach businesses and conventions from the state.
The law, signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, also prohibits transgender people from using washrooms that do not match the gender they had at birth.
Emanuel attributed his ability recently to lure a Whole Foods warehouse and 200 jobs from Indiana to Chicago to that state’s passage of a “religious freedom” bill that raised concerns about discrimination against gays and lesbians. The mayor also threw in a $7.4 million subsidy.
Emanuel said he has already been on the phone and has asked his staff to draw up a list of North Carolina companies they think “we can talk into considering a move to Chicago.”
Gov. Pat McCrory and a key state senator are suggesting some tweaks are possible down the road for a new state law restricting local government action on LGBT protections that’s received calls for repeal from gay-rights groups and corporations nationwide.
In a video message this week defending his decision to sign the law, McCrory offered to “work on solutions that will make this bill better in the future.” He didn’t provide suggestions but re-affirmed the law was needed to ensure privacy for people using restrooms and locker rooms.
Senate Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca said in an interview Wednesday some small changes were possible. For example, Apodaca says a transgender woman told him she’s unable to change the gender on her out-of-state birth certificate, preventing her from using the bathroom aligned with her gender identity.
The General Assembly reconvenes April 25.
North Carolina’s top state senator is coming to the defense of Gov. Pat McCrory for signing legislation that limits how far local governments can go in mandating protections for gays and lesbians and transgender people in their communities.
Senate leader Phil Berger’s campaign committee unveiled a website - www.standwithmccrory.com - Wednesday urging people to join a petition supporting his fellow Republican for signing the bill last week.
McCrory has taken the lion’s share of criticism nationally for the legislation, which also directs public schools and state agencies to limit men’s and women’s multi-stall bathroom use only to people of the same biological sex.
The site had received 3,000 names by midday.
Berger’s action backing McCrory contrasts with the sometimes strained relations on policy between the governor and Senate leadership.
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