LONDON (WTVD) --President Barack Obama says North Carolina's law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people is wrong should be overturned.
Pres. Obama says he thinks 'anti-LGBT' laws passed in NC and MS "are wrong and should be overturned." https://t.co/zOGCqrq8nJ— ABC News (@ABC) April 22, 2016
Obama is criticizing the state law and others targeting LGBT people Friday on the first day of a three-day visit to London. He stated:
"I want everybody here in the United Kingdom to know that people of North Carolina and Mississippi are wonderful people, are hospitable people, 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. I also think that the laws that have been passed there are wrong, and should be overturned. They're in response to politics in part, and part some strong emotions that are generated by people. Some of whom are good people, but 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. And, although I respect their different viewpoints, I think it's very important for us not to send signals that anybody is treated differently."
Obama is commenting after the U.K. put out a travel advisory warning British citizens about possible discrimination if they travel to certain U.S. states. Obama says Americans in those states are "wonderful people" and that British citizens should feel free to come and enjoy themselves. He says they'll be treated with "extraordinary hospitality."
Responding to Obama's comments, North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger said "Not every father has the luxury of secret service agents protecting his daughters' right to privacy in the girls' bathroom."
Governor Pat McCrory's Communications Director Josh Ellis said: "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."
North Carolina Speaker of the House Tim Moore 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."
Obama says the U.S. isn't unique in having a federal system where states can make their own policies.
Obama's declaration comes on the heels of Republican President front runner Donald Trump's condemnation House Bill 2 on Thursday. Read more here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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