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UK issues travel warning for NC after HB 2, Obama calls for repeal

The controversial law sparked criticism from local and national groups after it was signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory during an emergency session in March.

And the U.K. issued a travel advisory warning to LGBT travelers visiting North Carolina and Mississippi.

“The U.S. is an extremely diverse society and attitudes towards LGBT people differ hugely across the country,” the advisory stated. “LGBT travellers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi.”

During a joint press conference with Cameron, Obama said he disagreed with both laws.

“I also think that the laws that have been passed there are wrong and should be overturned,” Obama said in the conference. “... I think it’s very important for us not to send signals that anybody is treated differently.”

But, he said, LGBT travelers would be greeted with hospitality in both states.

Cameron said the travel advisory is intended to be impartial and not to send a political message, but he stressed the importance of legislators ending discrimination.

“Our view on any of these things is that we believe that we should be trying to use law to end discrimination rather than to embed it or enhance it,” Cameron said in the conference. “And that’s something we’re comfortable saying to countries and friends anywhere in the world.”

McCrory was quick to respond to Obama’s criticism in a statement issued by Josh Ellis, the governor’s spokesperson.

“The governor respectfully disagrees with the political left’s national agenda to mandate changes to basic, common-sense restroom norms,” the statement said.

Democratic representatives in the North Carolina General Assembly filed a bill Monday morning aimed to repeal House Bill 2. Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, is co-sponsoring the repeal effort.

“The damage to N.C.’s reputation and economy has been swift and is growing exponentially,” Jackson said in a press release. “House Bill 2 is bad for all N.C. citizens and it is bad for all N.C. businesses.”

But Terri Phoenix, director of the LGBTQ Center on campus, said in an email the bill isn’t likely to be repealed in the current legislative session.

“Based on the governor’s defense of the law, I am doubtful that we will see the law repealed when the legislators return for the short session,” Phoenix said.

The University’s LGBTQ Center and other on-campus groups will continue to fight House Bill 2.

“We remain committed to providing support, creating more visibility of our communities, and educating to bring about a world in which legislation like HB2 is never proposed in the first place,” Phoenix said.

state@dailytarheel.com

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