Post submitted by Aaron Rodriguez former Rapid Response Deputy Press Secretary
HRC and Equality NC condemned the NCAA’s decision to reward North Carolina with championship games despite discrimination against LGBTQ people that remains enshrined in state law with HB 142. Because the NCAA Board of Governors requires all bids to include a completed non-discrimination questionnaire, HRC has also submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to North Carolina public universities for all materials related to their bids for NCAA events.
“The NCAA has fallen ‘hook, line, and sinker’ for this ‘bait and switch’ sham ‘deal’ doubling down on discrimination,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Political Affairs. “Even worse, the NCAA has inexcusably gone back on its promise to ensure all championship games are held in locations that are safe, respectful, and free of discrimination. By rewarding North Carolina with championship games, the NCAA has undermined its credibility and is sending a dangerous message to lawmakers across the country who are targeting LGBTQ people with discriminatory state legislation. In addition to protecting the broader LGBTQ community, the NCAA needs to clearly state how they will be protecting their student athletes, personnel and fans.”
“How can LGBTQ people — especially members of the transgender community — be safe and free from discrimination, much less protected against mistreatment or harassment with the sham fake repeal of HB2?” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “The unfortunate reality is they cannot. HB 142 was a cheap political trick that did nothing to alleviate the concerns the NCAA initially outlined when it pulled games from the Tar Heel state last year, and even adds new forms of discrimination to North Carolina's laws. It is unthinkable that the NCAA would abandon its commitment to LGBTQ fans, players, and administrators by falling for this trick.”
HRC has submitted FOIA requests to North Carolina public universities, requesting all communications related to their bid requests for NCAA events — including all materials related to the non-discrimination questionnaires required by the NCAA Board of Governors to host NCAA events. Under HB 142, North Carolina universities are prohibited from ensuring LGBTQ participants and spectators are protected from discrimination during university events.
HB 142 is not an HB2 repeal, and replaces one discriminatory, anti-transgender, bathroom bill with another. It bans local LGBTQ non-discrimination protections statewide through 2020, and substitutes the previous anti-transgender bathroom provisions with a new provision that forbids state agencies, public universities, primary and secondary schools, and cities from adopting policies ensuring transgender people have access to restrooms consistent with their gender identity.
While the NCAA has fallen for the sham HB2 “deal” doubling down on discrimination, an ever-growing chorus of states and cities are not fooled by North Carolina’s new anti-LGBTQ law. Municipalities that have banned taxpayer-funded travel to North Carolina include California; Washington state; Minnesota; New York City; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Portland, Ore.; Baltimore; Atlanta; Oakland, Calif.; Cincinnati; Salt Lake City; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Portland, Maine; Palm Springs, Calif.; Burlington, Vt.; and Wilton Manors, Fla.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
Equality NC is a statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer North Carolinians. For more information, please visit www.equalitync.org