The Latest: NY governor, Seattle mayor ban travel to NC

AP News
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Posted: Mar 28, 2016 9:20 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit challenging North Carolina's new law halting Charlotte's anti-discrimination rules and directing transgender students to use the restroom aligned with their biological sex (all times local):

9 p.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray have banned nonessential publically funded travel to North Carolina in response to its legislation blocking anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people.

Cuomo and Murray issued executive orders Monday saying the bans would take effect immediately.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee made the same move Friday.

North Carolina lawmakers approved and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation last week voiding a Charlotte ordinance that would have provided wide protections against discrimination in public accommodations.

The law also prevents cities and counties from passing anti-discrimination rules and imposes a statewide standard that leaves out protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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5:05 p.m.

Some of the roughly 20,000 retail and interior-design companies that attend the twice-a-year High Point furniture market say they won't travel to the North Carolina city next month because of a new state law voiding a Charlotte anti-discrimination ordinance.

The taxpayer-supported High Point Market Authority said Monday that dozens of buyers have said their employees won't attend to shop the new offerings of manufacturers and wholesalers. Opponents of the law also are on social media calling for a boycott of the market, which has an annual statewide economic impact of $5 billion.

High Point Market Authority CEO Tom Conley says the impact of a threatened boycott won't be known for weeks or months. He says some legislators have been asked about the backlash the law could have on the market.

Technology giants Apple, Google and Facebook are among a dozen big companies or their top executives who have objected to the law.

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4:20 p.m.

North Carolina's legislative leaders say they're confident a court will find the General Assembly acted lawfully when it agreed last week to block Charlotte's anti-discrimination ordinance and stopped other local governments from passing similar rules.

Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore released a statement Monday, hours after civil liberties groups and University of North Carolina workers and a student sued in federal court to overturn the new state law.

Charlotte's ordinance would have allowed transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity. It also extended protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity for people eating in restaurants and seeking rooms at hotels.

Moore and Berger say the lawsuit takes the debate out of the hands of voters and seeks what they call a "previously undiscovered" legal right for men to use women's bathrooms and locker rooms.

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3:50 p.m.

North Carolina's senior senator says he's just catching up on a new North Carolina law voiding a Charlotte ordinance that sought to expand anti-discrimination protections, including allowing transgender people to use the bathroom in line with their gender identity.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr told The Associated Press on Monday after a Raleigh-area event that he's been out of the country and knows little about the law. But he says the law is a state matter and doesn't involve federal issues.

Several plaintiffs — including two transgender people — sued Monday to stop the legislation signed by Gov. Pat McCrory last week. They say the law violates the U.S. Constitution and federal education rules against gender bias.

Burr is running for re-election this year against Democratic nominee Deborah Ross, who has publicly opposed the law she says makes the "state less welcoming to new residents and businesses."

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3:35 p.m.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says he believes there is a coordinated national campaign to discredit the state's new law.

Gay rights groups have called the law discriminatory and sued North Carolina and the governor on Monday. The law prevents cities and counties from extending protections to cover sexual orientation and gender identity at restaurants, hotels and stores.

The law also requires public schools and university students to use only those bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificates.

In Georgia, Republican Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday vetoed a measure that gay rights groups also opposed. They said it would have protected business owners who discriminated against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

McCrory, who is also a Republican, said there was no connection between the two measures.

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12 p.m.

A transgender man who sued North Carolina leaders to stop a new law curbing anti-discrimination regulations from covering the LGBT community says the litigation is much more than using the men's restroom.

Joaquin Carcano spoke at a Raleigh news conference Monday about a federal lawsuit challenging last week's action by the Republican-led legislature and GOP Gov. Pat McCrory. Carcano says the litigation is about upholding the dignity, respect and value of transgender people.

Carcano is an employee at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which also must comply with the new law that directs where transgender people can use the bathroom.

Another plaintiff is North Carolina Central University professor Angela Gilmore, who lives with her wife in Durham. Gilmore says the law makes them feel less welcome in North Carolina.

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9:35 a.m.

The federal lawsuit challenging a new North Carolina law that halts Charlotte's anti-discrimination rules and directs where transgender students must use the bathroom says the measure specifically singles out LGBT people for "disfavored treatment."

The lawsuit, filed Monday morning, names two transgender people who work or study on University of North Carolina system campuses, which now must comply with last week's law. The two were born female and now consider themselves male but have not changed their birth certificates. They say the inability to use the men's restroom or locker room will cause them fear and might lead to harassment.

The lawsuit also criticizes members of the General Assembly for their arguments that Charlotte's new ordinance needed to be overturned to protect women and children. The ordinance allowed transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity.

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9 a.m.

Opponents of a new North Carolina law blocking Charlotte and other local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules and requiring students to use bathrooms assigned to their biological sex have sued in federal court.

Two transgender people, a law school professor and civil liberties groups filed the lawsuit Monday morning. They want the new law to be declared unconstitutional. They also want to prevent its enforcement.

They say the law, approved last week by the legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, discriminates against transgender individuals. Corporations have criticized the law, but McCrory and allies defend it as providing uniform rules across the state. The legislature met in special session last Wednesday to pass the law in response to a Charlotte ordinance that allowed transgender people to use restrooms aligned with their gender identity.

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6:40 a.m.

Gay-rights groups and others who say they'll be wronged by North Carolina's new law preventing Charlotte and other local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules are wasting little time trying to stop it in court.

The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and Equality North Carolina scheduled a Monday news conference in Raleigh to announce federal litigation challenging the law, approved last week by the legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.

Republican lawmakers wanted to overturn an impending Charlotte ordinance that allowed transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity. But the new law also prevents all cities and counties from extending protections covering sexual orientation and gender identity at restaurants, hotels and stores.

Corporations have criticized the law, but McCrory and allies are defending it.