North Carolina Senate Leader Phil Berger last week defended a controversial law that targets the LGBT community.

Berger, a Republican, insisted that most North Carolinians support “this reasonable, common-sense law.”

House Bill 2 was a knee jerk reaction to passage of an LGBT protections bill in Charlotte. Lawmakers approved and Republican Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill during a one-day special session. It repeals Charlotte's ordinance and blocks other cities from enacting similar measures. It also bars students attending public institutions from using the bathroom that does not conform to their gender at birth. McCrory later expanded those bathroom exclusions to state workers.

The law spurred companies, politicians and artists to speak out. PayPal and Deutsche Bank have halted expansion plans in North Carolina, while several cities and states have instituted non-essential travel bans to the state, the latest being Los Angeles. Cirque du Soleil, Pearl Jam and Boston are the latest artists to cancel shows in North Carolina to protest the law.

(Related: In Charlotte, Duran Duran criticizes North Carolina anti-gay law.)

Speaking to reporters, Berger defended the law, calling it the “bathroom safety bill.”

“My job is not to give in to the demands of multimillionaire celebrities pushing a pet social agenda, liberal newspapers like The New York Times, big corporations who have every freedom to set whatever policies they wish under this law,” Berger said. “My job is to listen to the people who elected us to represent them. And the vast majority of North Carolinians we've heard from understand and support this reasonable, common-sense law.”

Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue, a Democrat from Raleigh, told the News & Observer that he believes Republicans are not taking the negative response seriously.

“I don't know what it takes to make people realize that this is a serious issue,” he said. “It plays out reputationally over the next five to ten years as people decide whether North Carolina is a desirable place to be.”

(Related: In London, Obama says anti-gay laws in North Carolina, Mississippi should be overturned.)