3 Weeks Later: Gov. McCrory & NC Assembly Leadership Have Still Not Fulfilled Open Records Request

by Stephen Peters

Behind-the-scenes communications with anti-LGBT activists on plot to pass HB 2 have still not been released

WASHINGTON – Today marks three weeks since the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Equality NC filed an open records request seeking information from the office of Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, and House Speaker Tim Moore about their communications with anti-LGBT activists to pass the disastrous HB 2 into law. With the legislation rammed through the legislature in a special, single day session with little opportunity for debate, the plot thickened this week when a Republican State Senator slipped up and admitted there had been private discussions about the plan to rush HB 2 through "for weeks." But so far McCrory, Berger, and Moore have refused to be transparent about their scheme to pass the radical and deeply discriminatory measure.

Gov. McCrory and state lawmakers are under increasingly intense pressure to repeal HB 2, including from the U.S. Department of Justice who determined the discriminatory measure violates federal civil rights law, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. With billions in federal funding at risk, the Justice Department has given Gov. McCrory until Monday to address the situation ‘by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB 2.’”

“What are Pat McCrory, Phil Berger, and Tim Moore hiding?” asked HRC President Chad Griffin. “They rammed through this disastrous bill in just 9 hours, and have spent the last 43 days lying to the public about what they did and why they did it. One Republican State Senator recently admitted there were weeks of secret meetings and calls to plot the HB2 sneak attack. It's time McCrory, Berger, and Moore come clean to the people of North Carolina, because the millions of people harmed by Hate Bill 2 deserve to know the truth.”

"The people of North Carolina deserve to know the truth behind the passing of HB 2,” said Equality NC Director of Advancement Matt Hirschy. “If this bill is as common sense as Senator Berger, Speaker Moore and Governor McCrory claim, then there should be nothing to hide. Every single day that goes by, North Carolina loses more of its economic edge. $500 million in lost economic opportunities should be enough to justify an investigation into how this harmful bill was passed."

Neither the Governor, who signed the bill in the dead of night the very day it was introduced, nor the sponsors of the bill seem to understand the gravity of what this piece of legislation has done.  For that reason, HRC and Equality NC invoked the North Carolina Public Records Law to gain access to any communications the Governor, the Executive Branch, or the General Assembly had among each other or with the kind of extreme anti-LGBT special interest groups who often craft and push this language. Specifically, the organizations are demanding that the government release any communications legislators or the Governor or his staff have had with the so-called North Carolina Values Coalition or the Alliance Defending Freedom.  

Nearly 200 leading CEOs and business leaders have urged Gov. McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal the deeply discriminatory law that’s bad for business and bad for North Carolina. Mayors and governors across the country are banning travel to the state, musicians are cancelling concerts, and the New York Times editorial board called North Carolina a “pioneer in bigotry.” The NBA has threatened to pull next year’s All-Star Game in Charlotte, NASCAR has spoken about its opposition publicly, and the NCAA has said it won’t schedule events - including the Final Four - in cities that don’t have fully-inclusive non-discrimination laws. Major film studios and corporations, from PayPal to Deutsche Bank, have stopped investments in the state because of the new law. The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office has evenwarned its LGBT citizens of the risks of traveling to North Carolina.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT 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 and transgender North Carolinians. For more information, please visit www.equalitync.org


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