Obama: North Carolina's HB2 'should be overturned'

Obama: North Carolina's HB2 'should be overturned'

LONDON (WBTV/AP) - President Barack Obama says North Carolina's law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people is wrong should be overturned.

Obama is criticizing the state law and others targeting LGBT people during a news conference in London. He says they're in response to politics and strong emotions. Obama says some of the proponents are good people but that he disagrees with them.

North Carolina has faced a national backlash from gay rights groups, entertainers and business leaders who say the law unfairly targets gay and lesbian people. Obama's comments come after the U.K. put out a travel advisory warning British citizens about possible discrimination if they travel to certain U.S. states.

RELATED: British government issues warning to LGBT travelers about NC, Miss.

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."

Obama says the U.S. isn't unique in having a federal system where states can make their own policies.

Governor's Pat McCrory's Office released a statement Friday afternoon through his communications director, Josh Ellis.

"Governor McCrory agrees with President Obama that all people are welcome to our state and everybody will be treated well with extraordinary hospitality," Ellis said. "However, the governor respectfully disagrees with the political left's national agenda to mandate changes to basic, common-sense restroom norms."

Thursday, Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, weighed in on HB2 saying the state should have left it "the way it was."

Speaking at a town hall event on NBC's "Today" Thursday, Trump said HB2, which directs transgender people to use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificates, has caused unnecessary strife.

RELATED: Donald Trump criticizes NC leaders over HB2

"There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble," Trump said.

"North Carolina did something that was very strong and they're paying a big price. And there's a lot of problems," he continued. "Leave it the way it is. North Carolina, what they're going through, with all of the business and all of the strife – and that's on both sides – you leave it the way it is."

His party rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, spoke out last week saying he supports the ability of North Carolina lawmakers to pass a law restricting bathroom access for gay and transgender people.

RELATED: Cruz supports NC gay bathroom restrictions

Cruz said during taping of a MSNBC town hall in Buffalo, New York, that states can pass such laws because "men should not be going to the bathroom with little girls." Cruz says, "That is a perfectly reasonable determination for the people to make."


"Not every father has the luxury of secret service agents protecting his daughters' right to privacy in the girls' bathroom."

- Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham)

Copyright 2016 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.