Both the House of Representatives and Senate in North Carolina voted in favor of a bill on Wednesday that would ban all the state’s cities from enacting nondiscrimination ordinances designed to protect LGBT people.
The House held a special session to vote on the bill, which passed with an 83-25 vote within just an hour of its introduction.
Very soon after, the Senate also passed the bill by a vote of 32-0, but only Republicans were in attendance, as the Democrats were disgusted by the bill and walked out instead of voting.
“We’re not participating in this effort to roll back the clock in this state,” said Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue.
The bill would also void all of North Carolina’s current LGBT rights ordinances, including the one recently passed in Charlotte that is set to go into effect on April 1.
Lawmakers chose to rush through the vote — the State legislature wasn’t even due back in session until the end of April — in order to block the Charlotte ordinance, which would allow transgender people to use restrooms that coincide with their gender identity.
“What we’re doing is preserving a sense of privacy that people have long expected in private facilities and we are restoring and clarifying…the existing authority and limits of authority of local government,” said Republican bill sponsor and Charlotte representative Dan Bishop.
The bill now travels to the desk of Governor Pat McCrory to determine whether it gets vetoed or turned into a law.