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NC Residents Rally at State Capitol Over 'Bathroom' Bill

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North Carolina Capitol building

Social conservative groups are calling on North Carolina's governor to stand strong on the state's "bathroom" bill.

Hundreds gathered Monday on the grounds of the old Capitol building in Raleigh for a rally hosted by the Keep NC Safe Coalition.

Click play to watch video from the rally on the state apitol grounds and hear supporters of the bill express their beliefs.

The Christian Action League of North Carolina, Return America, and other groups in the state attended to support Gov. Pat McCrory and state lawmakers for passing H.B. 2.

The law repeals the transgender bathroom ordinance in Charlotte, clarifying that bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers are limited to persons of the same biological sex.

"The basic expectation of privacy in the most personal of settings, a restroom or locker room, for each gender was violated by government overreach and intrusion by the mayor and city council of Charlotte," McCrory said in a statement.

"The bill that passed and the one the governor signed, H.B. 2, overturned an egregious Charlotte ordinance and restored basic expectations of privacy people have when using the restroom," Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said.

"The bill also provides that private businesses can make their own decisions regarding accommodations and services and not be forced by a city ordinance to do certain things that could be detrimental to their business," he said.

"It's unfortunate this common sense measure has been so grossly misrepresented and maligned," Creech continued.

Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., a nationally known African-American Pentecostal minister and social conservative activist and commentator, spoke at the rally.

"This is not a(n) issue of discrimination; this is really protecting the rights of especially women and underaged girls, and I think it's a significant day for us to take a stand," Jackson told CBN News.

"I would encourage people from your audience to send letters of support, especially those who are North Carolinians, but from all over," he continued. "We need to let these guys know that they have our agreement."

"What our opponents want to do is first, publicly shame. Then secondly, they want to publicly blame. And then, thirdly, after they've done that they want there to be a political and economic retribution against people who are standing for practical wisdom and morality," Jackson said.

"And so if we give honor instead of shame and then we don't blame these guys at all, and we stand behind them in such a way that their jobs are not less secure because they've done the right thing, I think it could be a turning point in this battle for our culture that we seem to be in today," he continued.

Other speakers included the Benham brothers, Christian author and apologist, Frank Turek, and representatives from the North Carolina Family Policy Council, the North Carolina Values Coalition, Return America, and the Christian Action League.

"We thank God for the freedom that we have in this country, and if we're not willing to stand now -- 20 years from now my kids aren't going to be able to stand," one of the Benham brothers said. "They're going to go to jail. So we have to take a stand."

"The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good men and women to do nothing," he continued.

"And thank God right here in this city our legislators heard us loud and clear," another law supporter said. "Yes, that's right. There was a ground swell just like there is today. This is not coincidence. Despite what the media says you care, or you wouldn't be here."

"And we had a ground swell of outrage at the injustice of the illegal city council ordinance. Thank you Gov. McCrory; thank you Sen. Berger; thank you Speaker Moore; thank you Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, and thank you General Assembly for doing what's right to protect our families and our children," the female supporter continued.

"It was plain common sense. No men in women's restrooms, right? Does anybody agree with me?" the same supporter asked the crowd, garnering cheers and applause.

Women who have been victims of sexual assault, along with individuals representing law enforcement, were also scheduled to speak.

Across the street about 100 people took part in a counter protest. They held signs that read, among other things, "Bigotry is Bad for Business."

The counter protestors chanted, "They are up there preaching hate! They do not represent our state!"

"My risk of being attacked, accosted, challenged, even killed in a restroom has increased," Angela Bridgman, a counter protestor and transgender woman, said.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper says he will not defend the new state law that bars Charlotte and other local governments from approving protections for LGBT people.

Cooper called the measure discriminatory and a "national embarrassment."

"Not only is this new law a national embarrassment, it will set North Carolina's economy back if we don't' repeal it," Cooper said. "We know that businesses here and all over the country have taken a strong stance in opposition to this law."

A coalition of corporate leaders and LGBT activists are trying to undo the North Carolina measure.

Both state houses overwhelmingly passed House Bill 2, known as the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, and Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law.

The law overrides a Charlotte ordinance giving people permission to use a public bathroom of their choice regardless of gender.
 
LGBT activists filed a lawsuit, labeling the law discriminatory and claiming it targets LGBT people for "disfavored treatment."

"By singling out LGBT people for disfavored treatment and explicitly writing discrimination against transgender people into state law, H.B. 2 violates the most basic guarantees of equal treatment and the U.S. Constitution," the lawsuit said.

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