Anchorage voters first in the nation to reject anti-trans bathroom bill

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Voters in Alaska’s largest city are on track to becoming the first in the U.S. to defeat a so-called bathroom bill in a referendum that asked them to require people using public bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender at birth.

The initiative asked Anchorage’s voters to repeal an ordinance passed in 2015 that prevented discrimination based on sexual orientation and added a clause that would have prevented transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identities.

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Gay-friendly church in North Carolina suffers more vandalism

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A gay-friendly church in North Carolina’s largest city has been vandalized again.

Media outlets reported that officials with Wedgewood Church in Charlotte said the front doors were spray-painted with a misspelled, derogatory phrase late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

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Lawsuit: Sam’s Club discriminated against transgender worker

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A transgender woman said in a lawsuit Wednesday that she was called “it” and “thing” by co-workers and then wrongfully fired from a North Carolina Sam’s Club store after repeatedly complaining about harassment.

The federal lawsuit by Charlene Bost seeks unspecified monetary damages and asks the court to order the big box retailer to train employees to prevent future harassment of transgender workers. It says Bost was wrongfully fired in 2015 from the Kannapolis store in retaliation for her complaints.

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North Carolina deal would expand transgender protections

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s governor launched a two-part strategy Wednesday that could end protracted litigation over the state’s so-called bathroom bill and its replacement, while expanding LGBT protections lawmakers aren’t inclined to endorse.

Plaintiffs who had sued the state claiming discrimination asked a judge to approve a settlement with the governor that would ensure transgender people can use restrooms corresponding to their gender identity in facilities run by executive branch agencies that oversee the environment, transportation and Medicaid, among others.

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Charlotte mayor unexpectedly loses Democratic primary

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The two protagonists in the battle over LGBT rights in North Carolina are now out of the political picture after a surprise in a mayoral primary Sept. 12.

Charlotte Mayor Pro Tempore Vi Lyles captured the Democratic primary, defeating Mayor Jennifer Roberts with 46 percent of the vote. Roberts got 36 percent of the vote, with State Sen. Joel Ford finishing third at 15 percent.

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Effects of ‘bathroom bill’ linger in North Carolina

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The law that replaced North Carolina’s notorious “bathroom bill” sports a new look but maintains LGBT discrimination and prevents transgender people from using restrooms matching their gender identity, according to a lawsuit July 21.

The lawsuit renews a high-profile legal battle that has thrust North Carolina into the center of the national debate over LGBT rights. The state took the “bathroom bill” off the books in late March after a yearlong backlash that hurt North Carolina’s reputation and caused businesses and sports leagues to back out of lucrative events and projects.

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Appeals court rejects challenge to same-sex marriage recusal law

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal appeals court has rejected a challenge to a North Carolina law that allows magistrates to refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

The Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling June 28 that three couples who sued to overturn the law lack standing to challenge the law’s use of taxpayer funds.

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Authorities investigating juror in church’s gay beating case

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RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina authorities are investigating a juror who brought unauthorized documents to jury deliberations, causing a mistrial in the case of a minister charged with beating a gay congregant.

Rutherford County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ricky McKinney told The Associated Press on Thursday his department and the prosecutor’s office are investigating the actions of 71-year-old Perry Shade Jr.

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Juror contempt prompts mistrial in North Carolina church abuse case

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RUTHERFORDTON, N.C. (AP) – A judge held a juror in contempt and declared a mistrial June 6 in the case of a North Carolina church minister charged in the beating a congregant who says he was attacked to expel his “homosexual demons.”

Superior Court Judge Gary Gavenus immediately sentenced the juror, Terry Shade Jr., to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Gavenus said the juror brought in three documents, including one related to North Carolina law, but it wasn’t the right law pertaining to the charges in the case.

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NC governor vows executive order to expand LGBT protections

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper vowed May 16 to act on his own to improve LGBT protections in North Carolina, where he faces criticism for compromising with Republicans to partially repeal a law limiting anti-discrimination protections.

“I’m going to issue an executive order pretty soon that is comprehensive, that helps with LGBT protections,” Cooper said during a conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by the liberal group Center for American Progress.

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Bank adds 1,200 North Carolina jobs stalled by anti-LGBTQ law

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MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Credit Suisse has long planned to shift jobs to North Carolina as it downsizes, but the Swiss bank says it had to put those plans on hold until the legislature partially repealed the state’s law limiting the rights of gay and transgender people.

The bank announced a major expansion in the state Tuesday, promising 1,200 jobs with an average salary of more than $100,000 at its North Carolina technology hub after the state promised more than $40 million in tax incentives.

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NCAA returns events to NC after state makes changes to LGBTQ law

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)- The NCAA has awarded coveted men’s basketball tournament games and other events to North Carolina, effectively ending a boycott that helped force the state to repeal parts of a law that limited protections for LGBTQ people.

The governing body announced decisions Tuesday for events through 2022, two weeks after the NCAA said it had “reluctantly” agreed to consider North Carolina again for hosting duties. It had stripped North Carolina of seven championship events for the past sports season, including opening-weekend men’s basketball tournament games, and said it could relocate more events if there wasn’t a change in the “bathroom bill.”

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