Two weeks ago, North Carolina passed a law that requires schools and public agencies to have gender-segregated bathrooms and to prevent people from using a bathroom that doesn’t correspond to their biological sex. Since then, PayPal has canceled plans to build a new operations center in Charlotte, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has banned state employees from making nonessential work trips to North Carolina, and composer Stephen Schwartz has announced that he will not allow his musicals to be performed in the state.
Regulating which bathrooms transgender people can use is the latest frontier in the fight over how the country should accommodate transgender people. In November 2015, Houston voters overturned a nondiscrimination ordinance to prevent it from allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms that matched their gender identity. (The ordinance didn’t mention bathrooms directly.) South Dakota passed a narrower bill that would have required students to use bathrooms that matched their biological sex, but Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed it in early March.