Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel could soon ban non-essential travel to North Carolina for city workers following the state’s newly passed bathroom law that has been criticized for discriminating against gender identity.
North Carolina's bathroom bill was unveiled, debated and signed into law in a single day last week. Among other things, the law directs public schools, public universities and government agencies to designate bathrooms and locker rooms for use only by people based on their biological sex. The law says transgender people can only use bathrooms matching their gender identity if they've had their birth certificates changed, which in North Carolina usually requires sexual reassignment surgery.
The law has prompted a national backlash. Businesses and politicians have announced boycotts of North Carolina, and Emanuel could soon join that list.
Shannon Breymaier, a spokesperson for the mayor, said he plans to formalize a policy that bars non-essential city-funded or city-supported travel to the state as long as the law is in effect.
North Carolina's law also bars local governments from making their own restroom ordinances, providing other protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, or requiring businesses to pay higher wages or paid sick leave, raising authority questions that aren't at issue in the Virginia case.
The use of public facilities by transgender people has emerged as the next most important legal issue for LBGT advocates, and North Carolina is the first state to require public school and university students to use only bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The fate of law could soon be determined in Virginia, where a school board has ordered a teenager to stay out of the boys’ room. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond is expected to rule on the case.