North Carolina lawmakers dealt a blow to transgender rights by passing a so-called bathroom law last week that requires individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds to their biological sex.
Police officers across the state, however, are saying they have no idea how they will actually enforce the law, according to Mother Jones.
In addition to the bathroom provision, the law, known as HB2, blocks local governments from protecting gay and transgender people with anti-discrimination laws.
Mother Jones cold-called police departments from some of North Carolina’s biggest cities to ask them how they planned to enforce the law:
“That’s a very interesting question. We don’t have police officers sitting at public bathrooms all day long,” a spokesman from the Raleigh Police Department said.
“We would respond if we received a complaint. It’s not like we would be standing guard at bathrooms,” a spokeswoman from the Greensboro Police Department said.
“So that means people have to go to the bathroom with birth certificates? Yeah, that was curious to me,” a spokeswoman for the Wilmington Police Department said.
“We’re not checking birth certificates. We just don’t have the police power to be able to do that in bathrooms,” a spokeswoman for the Asheville Police Department said.
“We haven’t mobilized our police force in any kind of different way. We’re still digesting,” another spokesman in Raleigh said.
- Mike Theiler/Reuters
The 17 schools in the University of North Carolina system received a memo from system president Margaret Spellings saying schools in the system would comply with the law. But Spellings said in her memo that the law contained no provisions for enforcement of the bathroom requirement, according to Raleigh’s News & Observer.
Last week, a University of North Carolina employee and a student at UNC-Greensboro – both transgender men – challenged the law in a federal lawsuit against the UNC system and Gov. Pat McCrory, among other defendants.
The law has drawn fierce opposition from businesses across the country. PayPal announced on Tuesday it was canceling a major expansion that would have employed 400 people in Charlotte. The NBA has suggested it may move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, and the NCAA said the law jeopardizes the state’s chances of hosting future sporting events, including the men’s basketball tournament.