The government of Charlotte, North Carolina, wants to do something simple and admirable: ban businesses from discriminating against LGBTQ people, much in the same way they can't discriminate against people based on their race or religion today. So it passed an ordinance doing just that on Monday night.
But North Carolina's state government appears to really dislike the idea. Prior to the law's passage, Gov. Pat McCrory warned that the Charlotte City Council's passage of such a law would most likely cause the state to overturn the measure.
"This shift in policy could also create major public safety issues by putting citizens in possible danger from deviant actions by individuals taking improper advantage of a bad policy," McCrory said. "Also, this action of allowing a person with male anatomy, for example, to use a female restroom or locker room will most likely cause immediate state legislative intervention which I would support as governor."
Then, after the city council passed the law, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore doubled down on the threat of state intervention:
The Charlotte City Council has gone against all common sense and has created a major public safety issue by opening all bathrooms and changing rooms to the general public. This ordinance is impossible to regulate as intended, and creates undue regulatory burdens on private businesses. I join my conservative colleagues and Gov. McCrory in exploring legislative intervention to correct this radical course.
To be clear, the law simply bans businesses and public spaces within Charlotte from discriminating against someone based on sexual orientation or gender identity. And that includes allowing transgender people use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity — something that seems obvious to transgender people like Michael Hughes.
It's unclear, however, how the state will overturn the law. According to the Charlotte Observer, the state could strike down the entire ordinance, repeal only the parts that have to do with bathrooms, or put the law to a public vote in a general election.
But whatever step the North Carolina legislature takes, it could revert Charlotte to a status quo that currently allows anti-LGBTQ discrimination.