North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is speaking out after Charlotte legalized the ability of transgender people to choose public restrooms corresponding to their gender identity.
McCrory, a former mayor of Charlotte, said changing restroom rules could "create major public safety issues."
The Charlotte measure broadly defines how businesses must treat gay, lesbian and transgender customers, but as in other cities recently, the debate has focused on bathrooms.
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"Your own individual privacy, you expect based upon our past values and standards, to have, within those confines of using a facility, certain aspects of privacy," McCrory said during a sit-down interview with WBTV's Steve Crump. "Everyone is impacted by this and I just think it’s a wrong thing to do and it has ramifications beyond the city of Charlotte and that's why I'm engaging."
While he tracked the progress of Monday night's spirited conversation at Charlotte's city council meeting, the governor said going to the bathroom is an action that demands privacy.
"I think [it] breaks the basic standards, and frankly expectations, of privacy that all individuals - men and women and children alike - would expect in a restroom facility or a locker room facility," he continued. "I think they are creating a lot of potential problems.”
In an email Sunday, ahead of the vote, McCrory said "this action of allowing a person with male anatomy, for example, to use a female restroom or locker room will most likely cause immediate state legislative intervention which I would support as governor."
The Charlotte City Council voted 7-4 Monday to add sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status as attributes protected from discrimination when it comes to public accommodations including restaurants, retail stores and other businesses.
Public schools would not be affected by the law, which would take effect April 1.
WBTV is the Observer’s news partner