Governor Pat McCrory
Governor Pat McCrory, who is a former mayor of Charlotte, signed the bill, claiming he did so to “stop the breach of basic privacy and etiquette.”

The US state is introducing the most sweeping anti-LGBT legislation in America.

Republican leaders of the North Carolina General Assembly have rushed through a bill that repeals all local LGBT anti-discrimination laws and bans transgender people from certain restrooms.

House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, was written to supersede all local ordinances concerning wages, employment, and public accommodations which have previously been in place to protect people from discrimination. The bill also mandates that single-sex public restrooms and locker rooms be restricted to people of the same corresponding birth sex.

The bill was introduced as a counter to a nondiscrimination ordinance in Charlotte which was due to come into effect on April 1. The Charlotte ordinance, among other measures, allowed people to use the bathroom that matched with their gender identity.

House Bill 2 was passed in under 10 hours after Republican lawmakers called the state’s General Assembly into a special session.

The legislature was introduced just an hour before its first committee vote on Wednesday, and legislators were only given five minutes to review the bill before voting on it. Democratic representative Bobby Richardson told fellow members of the House, “I’m not really sure what is in this bill.”

Christian conservatives testified before the committee stating they were furious the Charlotte ordinance would allow transgender women to use women’s restrooms, letting ‘men’ ‘prey on’ women and girls.

“Men could enter women restrooms and locker rooms – placing the privacy, safety and dignity of women and the elderly at great risk,” said John Rustin, the president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council.

Once the bill passed the committee, it was moved to the House floor where it was passed in an 83-25 vote. The bill then reached the Senate, where it was approved with a 32-0 vote. The unanimous vote was achieved when all Democratic senators walked out of the session in protest.

Governor Pat McCrory, who is a former mayor of Charlotte, signed the bill around 10pm on Wednesday night, claiming he did so to “stop the breach of basic privacy and etiquette.”

“Ordinance defied common sense, allowing men to use women’s bathroom/locker room for instance,” he tweeted.

The bill also bans transgender students from school restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. This could lead to a legal challenge from the Federal Government, who has previously found that civil rights laws ban transgender discrimination in schools.

While Arkansas and Tennessee have laws preventing cities from introducing protections for LGBT people, North Carolina’s bill is unprecedented in its scope. “It means any business in the state can refuse service to any LGBT person – even by posting a sign that says ‘No Gays Allowed,'” explained state Senator Jeff Jackson.

“This is going to be the broadest anti-LGBT legislation in the nation, and it will hurt our state deeply.”