Post submitted by Stephen Peters, former Senior National Press Secretary and Spokesperson
Today, Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) called on North Carolina lawmakers to fully repeal the state’s deeply discriminatory HB2 at the beginning of the new legislative session. For more than nine months, HB2 has harmed North Carolina’s people and economy as businesses, major sporting organizations, entertainers, and others have moved events out of the state over the outrageous law. Just this week, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) confirmed that a decision to move the ACC Championship out of the state will be made soon if HB2 is not repealed.
"Every single day, HB2 has put LGBTQ North Carolinians at risk for discrimination and violence. North Carolina voters have sent a clear message by rejecting Pat McCrory, the face of HB2, at the ballot box," said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. "Today's convening of the 2017 session is an opportunity to show that North Carolina is not what is represented by the deeply discriminatory HB2. With HB2 still on the books and the Charlotte Ordinance fully repealed, we will only continue to lose businesses and put LGBTQ North Carolinians in harm's way. The North Carolina General Assembly has but only one option -- a full and complete repeal of HB2"
"North Carolinians have resoundingly rejected the hate and discrimination of HB2, and it's far past time for their elected representatives to do the same," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "Those who stand in the way of a clean vote to fully repeal HB2 are directly responsible for the continued harm this destructive law inflicts on the people, reputation, and economy of the state of North Carolina. HB2 must be repealed, and it must be repealed now."
During the latest special session, the NC GOP doubled down on discrimination by pulling out of a deal brokered by Governor Cooper for full and total repeal of HB2. At the last minute, GOP leadership in the General Assembly blew up the governor’s deal when they sought to keep hateful, anti-LGBTQ provisions that would have maintained, potentially indefinitely, HB2’s prohibition on cities protecting their own LGBTQ residents from discrimination. These very same commonsense non-discrimination protections exist in more than 100 cities across the country, including Jackson, MS, Louisville, KY, Orlando, FL, and Minneapolis, MN -- a city which has had these protections in place since 1975.
Following passage in March of 2016, HB2 triggered a national outcry of opposition and a broad range of voices spoke out over the last 9 months demanding its full and complete repeal. The economic fallout -- including more than $600 million in lost business -- grew as companies concerned with protecting their consumers and employees moved conventions, trainings, operations, productions, and other events out of state. In November, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory became the only incumbent governor from either party to lose on election day specifically because he championed and signed HB2 into law.
North Carolina polling released by HRC and Equality NC found that HB2 was the number one issue leading to Governor Pat McCrory’s defeat -- the only incumbent governor from either party to lose on election day. The HRC and Equality NC survey found that 62 percent of voters opposed HB2, while only 30 percent supported the law. HB2 was also listed as the leading reason to vote against McCrory -- with 57 percent citing the bill, 17 points above any other issue.