by Danny Hooley
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday dismissed criticism of a controversial new law curbing LGBT anti-discrimination protections as "political theater" that he says is concocted by left-wing activists, accusing them of a "calculated smear campaign" that included threatening local businesses to oppose the measure.
In an interview with NBC News, McCrory, a Republican who is running for re-election, said he would not heed calls to repeal the law, which blocks the city of Charlotte — and any other local government — from allowing transgender people to use bathrooms that match the gender they identify with.
He cast himself as a voice of reason, standing against an assault on "the norms and etiquette" that have existed for generations. And he said the law doesn't discriminate against anyone.
"This political correctness has gone amok," he said.
On Monday morning, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced that he will veto HB757, an explicitly anti-gay “religious liberty” bill vehemently opposed by Georgia’s business community. The measure would have allowed taxpayer-funded government agencies—including adoption agencies, homeless shelters, and drug counseling centers—to refuse service to gay individuals and same-sex couples. It also contained provisions undermining local LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances, allowing hospitals to refuse treatment to LGBT people, and legalizing anti-LGBT employment discrimination.
West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio has become the first mayor in Florida to place a travel ban on city-funded trips to North Carolina.
... For more than two decades, West Palm Beach has been in the forefront, protecting the civil rights and ensuring equality for the LGBT community," said Muoio. "Until North Carolina's discriminatory law is amended or repealed, West Palm Beach taxpayers will not subsidize legally-sanctioned discrimination against LGBT people," said Muoio.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh said he will sign the measure if the council approves it.
A South Dakota lawmaker said a days-old North Carolina transgender bathroom law could be a model for the South Dakota legislature to consider next year.
"The North Carolina bill is worthwhile to look at," Rep. Fred Deutsch, R-Florence, said. "Our objective is to protect student privacy."
Deutsch made the comments hours after transgender residents and civil liberties groups sued over North Carolina's law in federal court Monday. Since North Carolina's governor signed the bill last week, the state has seen protests and threats of boycott.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill by Deustch this month that would have barred transgender students from using school bathrooms that don't match their biological sex at birth. The governor said the bill would bring legal conflicts and was better handled at the local level.