RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on rallies held over a law limiting protections for LGBT people on the first day of North Carolina’s legislative session (all times local):
North Carolina House Democrats have filed legislation to repeal the Republican-backed law that blocks local and state protections for LGBT citizens and directs which restrooms transgender people can use.
The Democrats offered the bill Monday, the first day of the legislature’s annual work session. The bill has no Republican sponsors. GOP legislative leaders have said they aren’t interested in overturning the law approved in a special session last month.
Primary co-sponsor Rep. Darren Jackson says he’s hoping momentum from national business leaders and other groups opposing the law will keep the repeal movement front and center this session. Jackson wants a hearing on the bill and an up-or-down vote.
Rallies supporting and opposing the law were going on Monday near the Legislative Building and the old Capitol, where Gov. Pat McCrory’s office is. McCrory signed the bill into law.
A day of rallies at North Carolina’s statehouse began with the delivery of petitions signed by 180,000 people seeking the repeal of a law that curtails protections for LGBT people.
About 200 people gathered Monday on the grounds of the old Capitol building to hear speakers denounce the law known as House Bill 2, or HB2. They then carried two-dozen cardboard boxes of signatures into the Capitol for delivery to state leaders.
The head of the state NAACP, the Rev. William Barber, called the law “Hate Bill 2.” He says it affects the poor and minorities as well as the LGBT community.
Another rally in support of the law was planned for the early afternoon, and the Legislature was scheduled to convene Monday night.
North Carolina legislators returning for their annual work session will hear loud and clear from supporters and opponents of a law they approved last month addressing bathroom use by transgender people and limiting government protections for LGBT citizens.
Christian conservatives and other backers of the law known as House Bill 2 scheduled a midday rally Monday — the first day of the session — near the Legislative Building in Raleigh. Later civil rights groups led by the state NAACP will rally to oppose Republican policies like the law approved in a special session last month. They also plan a “mass sit-in” inside the Legislative Building.
Earlier Monday, representatives of gay-rights groups will present a petition to Gov. Pat McCrory’s office asking he seek the law’s repeal.
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