LONDON — During his visit to the United Kingdom on Friday, Barack Obama opined that a new law in North Carolina requiring use of government restrooms in accordance with birth gender, and a new law in Mississippi mandating the same and providing religious liberty protections for those who decline forms of participation in same-sex ceremonies, are “wrong and should be overturned.”
Obama was asked about the matter during a news conference after the U.K. Foreign Office had released a travel advisory to warn British citizens about traveling to certain U.S. states.
“LGBT travelers may be affected by legislation passed recently in the states of North Carolina and Mississippi,” it said.
Obama, appearing with Prime Minister David Cameron, sought to assure the British that there should be no issue with touring the states.
“I want everybody here in the United Kingdom to know that the people of North Carolina and Mississippi are wonderful people. They are hospitable people,” he said. “They are beautiful states, and you are welcome and you should come and enjoy yourselves. And I think you’ll be treated with extraordinary hospitality.”
But Obama also said that he believes that the new laws are wrongful.
“I also think that the laws that have been passed there are wrong, and should be overturned,” he stated. “They’re in response to politics in part, and part some strong emotions that are generated by people, some of whom are good people.”
“I just disagree with when it comes to respecting the equal rights of all people, regardless of sexual orientation—whether they’re transgender, or gay or lesbian,” Obama continued. “And, although I respect their different viewpoints, I think it’s very important for us not to send signals that anybody is treated differently.”
Cameron made similar remarks, stating, “”We believe we ought to use law to try to end discrimination, rather than try to embed it or enhance it.”
In response to Obama’s comments, Josh Ellis, the communications director for North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, issued a statement outlining that the governor believes it is only common sense that males not use the restroom with females.
“Governor McCrory agrees with President Obama that all people are welcome to our state and everybody will be treated well with extraordinary hospitality. However, the governor respectfully disagrees with the political left’s national agenda to mandate changes to basic, common-sense restroom norms,” he said.
“One thing is abundantly clear: President Obama doesn’t have the best track record on matters of safety and security relating to foreign policy, now it seems like he’s challenged on some basic safety issues here in the United States, too,” also remarked House Speaker Tim Moore.
North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” only applies to government facilities and allows men who identify as women and vice versa to use the restroom of their “gender identity” if they have their birth certificate changed.