Protests have erupted tonight in North Carolina following the passage of a law that makes transgender people use the bathrooms of their gender assigned at birth, not that which matches their gender identity.
The demonstrators, carrying signs and chanting phrases like "Trans lives matter," blocked traffic in front of Republican Governor Pat McCrory's residence in Raleigh, according to images shared on Twitter by reporters, gay rights groups and protesters.
Videos posted on Twitter showed several protesters being arrested. A police dispatcher confirmed that a protest was under way, but could not provide details on arrests or injuries.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy groups condemned the law's passage and said they were exploring legal challenges.
The legislation came in response to a provision approved last month in Charlotte, the state's largest city, as part of an expanded nondiscrimination ordinance that added protections for marital and familial status, sexual orientation, gender expression and gender identity.
Republican lawmakers in North Carolina warned that the "radical" Charlotte measure, which would have taken effect on April 1, would create a public safety issue by giving men, including sex offenders, access to women's bathrooms.
McCrory, a former Charlotte mayor, signed the bill late on Wednesday. He said the city's measure "defies common sense."
Opponents of the state law said no public safety risks had arisen in the more than 200 U.S. cities that have enacted protections similar to those passed in Charlotte.
It's time to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This law has no place in America. https://t.co/uINi5KpsZ6— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 24, 2016