States consider transgender bathroom legislation

North Carolina and South Dakota considering transgender bathroom legislation. File photo.

North Carolina's attorney general says he doesn't see a need for the state legislature to overturn a provision in Charlotte's new nondiscrimination ordinance designed to ensure transgender people can use the restroom of their gender identity.

Attorney General Roy Cooper is a Democratic gubernatorial candidate who wants to replace Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. McCrory says legislators should repeal the provision. He cites safety issues and the right to privacy when using restrooms.

Cooper told reporters Tuesday that the legislature should focus on education, job creation and taxes when it reconvenes in late April.

He also says the ordinance doesn't change the ability of prosecutors and investigators to enforce North Carolina criminal laws.

Critics of the provision say sexual predators could manipulate the ordinance to assault women and children.

Meanwhile, in South Dakota, the governor faces a Tuesday deadline to make a decision about a bill that would require transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth.

Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard hasn't said what he plans to do with the proposal. If he signs the legislation, or allows it to take effect without his signature, South Dakota would become the first state in the nation with such a law.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign have condemned the legislation as discriminatory, but Republican supporters say it's meant to protect the privacy of students.

Under the legislation, schools would be required to make a "reasonable accommodation" for transgender students, such as single-occupancy bathroom.

The state's Republican-controlled Legislature approved the plan in February.


Gary D. Robertson of the Associated Press contributed to this story.

The Gayly- 3/1/2016 @ 11:18 AM CST