Today, HRC released an open letter signed by 25 local and national civil rights organizations strongly condemning HB2 and any attempts to double-down on discrimination. In the final days of the North Carolina General Assembly’s Short Session, new hateful legislation has been discussed by North Carolina lawmakers, which has been resoundingly rejected by these organizations -- including the ACLU, NC Women United and Time Out Youth, as well as others like the NBA, NAACP NC and allied lawmakers.
“Full repeal of HB2 is the only way for lawmakers to get out of the hateful mess they’ve created in North Carolina. Any attempt to pass additional discriminatory legislation will be seen for what it is -- a shameful political ploy designed to give some lawmakers cover as the state continues to discriminate against its LGBTQ citizens,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “While some lawmakers may be ready to pack up and go on their summer vacations, there is no resting while HB2 is on the books. We stand together with these organizations and our friends in the statehouse in our continued fight for the full repeal of HB2 -- and passing a law that brings full equality to LGBTQ people under the law.”
The letter from the organizations states in full:
To Whom It May Concern;
As a united coalition representing LGBTQ people, we have come together in opposition to the false “fix” to North Carolina’s disastrous HB 2. This legislation adds insult to injury. At a time when lawmakers should be fighting for statewide protections that cover all people, they are instead doubling down on their discriminatory mistake. No one who supports this sham is a true friend to our community.
What we are currently witnessing is a terrible re-run of the events that led to HB2 being rammed through the legislature. Instead of holding a public discussion about fixing the harms and the mess they’ve created, a handful of lawmakers privately planned another sneak attack that will leave LGBTQ people hanging out to dry and perpetuate harms against all minority communities. How can any legislation be a compromise when the people it affects most are not even at the table?
None of the economic hurt, legal trouble or public shame that North Carolina has undergone since March has changed the political calculus of the leaders in the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) whose intention remains to inflict pain on North Carolina’s minority communities, particularly the transgender community. The NCGA reconvened in mid-April and since then leadership has made no serious effort to address the many harms imposed upon North Carolinians by HB2. Every rumor of a backroom deal failed to address the substance of the problem; every attempt was a decoy designed to distract from continued discrimination. Those responsible for HB 2 call for a “compromise." The compromise is full repeal of HB 2, which simply brings us back to a starting point where many of our communities would still be left unprotected. When every provision of HB2 is discriminatory nothing but full repeal is a true solution.
This proposal does not address the anti-LGBTQ discrimination perpetuated by HB2. It does not address the provisions that force transgender people to use restrooms inconsistent with their gender identity in public buildings. It does not address the similar provision related to transgender students in schools. And it does not restore the abilities of cities to pass non- discrimination ordinances. It continues to punish cities who have acted on behalf of the general welfare of their communities by: setting a living wage; prohibiting child labor abuses; ensuring all have access to paid sick leave; or guaranteeing that city contractors aren’t able to discriminate on the taxpayers’ dime.
In fact, this proposal would make life even worse for North Carolina's transgender residents and visitors. By adopting increased penalties for criminal trespass and linking them to HB2, transgender people are vulnerable to arrest simply for using a restroom consistent with their gender identity. And that would apply to all restrooms throughout the state.
No one should be fooled by this fig leaf.
We urge lawmakers, fair-minded North Carolinians, and the business community to continue standing with us until HB2 is entirely repealed.
ACLU of North Carolina
Campaign for Southern Equality
Equality North Carolina
Family Equality Council
Freedom for All Americans
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD)
Human Rights Campaign
LGBT Center of Raleigh
LGBT Dems of Mecklenburg County
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina
North Carolina AIDS Action Network
North Carolina Women United
The Freedom Center for Social Justice
Time Out Youth
Trans People of Color Coalition