Activists on both sides of the House Bill 2 debate in North Carolina were set to face off Monday at demonstrations for and against the recently signed law forbidding transgender people from using bathrooms that don't align with their biological sex. The Keep NC Safe Coalition planned to host a rally in support of the law on the lawn at the Capitol building, and protesters were scheduled to show up across the street, WAVY reported.
The rally for House Bill 2, which also rolled back a nondiscrimination rule in Charlotte in favor of state policies, will be led by groups like the Christian Action League of North Carolina.
"The bill that passed and the one the governor signed, HB 2, overturned an egregious Charlotte ordinance and restored basic expectations of privacy people have when using the restroom," the league's executive director, Mark Creech, said in a statement. "It’s unfortunate this commonsense measure has been so grossly misrepresented and maligned. The rally will seek to provide some clarity, as well as cheer our state’s governor and lawmakers on."
Also set to attend were Maryland preacher Harry Jackson Jr., HGTV stars the Benham brothers and Christian author Frank Turek.
— #KeepNCSafe (@NotInCharlotte) April 9, 2016
Proponents of the law argue the legislation, which was passed March 23, protects children and women from encountering "dangerous" men in bathrooms and locker rooms. Opponents criticize it as a policy intended to restrict the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.
Monday's counter-protest won't be the first event fighting the new law. Last weekend, hundreds of people showed up outside Gov. Pat McCrory's Raleigh mansion with signs demanding he repeal the legislation. Students and government officials blocked a major street in Chapel Hill March 29. "The government is doing some really messed up s--- and taking away basic human rights that everyone should have," high school student Flora Arnsberger told the Daily Tarheel. "Especially trans people."
— Noah J. Thomas (@iNoahT) April 8, 2016
Even musician Bruce Springsteen has joined in the protests. On Friday, he canceled a concert scheduled in Greensboro "to show solidarity" with the oppressed and the people fighting back, according to a statement.
"Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them," he said. "It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards."