By Colleen Jenkins
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - The decision to move seven college championship sporting events out of North Carolina due to a state law deemed discriminatory to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people was a "proverbial no-brainer," the president of the governing body for U.S. college athletics said on Tuesday.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association's move to relocate the games, including two rounds of the prominent Division I men's basketball tournament set for Greensboro in March, came after the National Basketball Association last month yanked its 2017 All-Star Game from the state in protest of the law.
"Fairness and inclusion are right at the heart of what the NCAA does and what universities do," NCAA President Mark Emmert said on "CBS This Morning." "And so for our university presidents, this was the proverbial no-brainer."
North Carolina in March became the only state in the country to require transgender people to use bathrooms in government buildings and public schools that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate.
The Republican-backed law, known as House Bill 2 or H.B. 2, also blocked local government measures aimed at protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.
The measure has been a focal point in the debate over transgender rights in the United States, sparking legal battles and boycotts by companies, musical performers and other states that have barred public employees from traveling to North Carolina on official business.
Emmert said the NCAA Board of Governors, which includes 16 university presidents, took its action on Monday after North Carolina lawmakers and U.S. courts failed to immediately resolve concerns about the law.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said the NCAA made the right move.
"Discrimination has no place in America," she said on Twitter on Tuesday.
The president of North Carolina's public university system called the decision disappointing.
North Carolina's Republican Party blasted the NCAA.
"Under the NCAA's logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms," state party spokeswoman Kami Mueller said in a statement. "This decision is an assault to female athletes across the nation."
In addition to the men's basketball tournament, the NCAA said it was also stripping North Carolina of 2016-17 season championship events for Division I women's soccer; Division III men's and women's soccer; Division I women's golf; Division III men's and women's tennis; Division I women's lacrosse; and Division II baseball.
(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Will Dunham)