North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is digging himself, and the state of North Carolina, in quite a hole over their brand new, state-sanctioned LGBT discrimination bill, also known as House Bill 2.
If you have been living under a rock for the past week, here is a quick refresher on what’s happening in the Tar Heel State. North Carolina’s largest city, Charlotte, has a new Human Rights ordinance that was supposed to take effect on April 1. The ordinance included language that transgender individuals could use any public bathroom of their preference, which caused a stir among Christian conservatives and the state legislature.
So, Republicans in Raleigh, who were done with their regular legislative session, were summoned back to the capital to “put a stop” to the radical (as they put it) HERO legislation, and not they did more than halt Charlotte’s bathroom ordinance. The state legislature went on to roll back LGBT protections under a new statewide anti-discrimination ordinance that deliberately left out gays, lesbians, and the transgendered from protection from discrimination and bar cities in the state from doing the same.
McCrory can call that “politically correctness” all he wants, but he, and the Republicans in Raleigh knew exactly what they were doing in passing this stale-tobacco stinker of a law. It seems like every day since he signed House Bill 2 into law McCrory has had to come to the defense of the new law, which, every day, takes away from other issues that are facing his state.
But nobody should feel sorry for McCrory and Raleigh Republicans. They unleashed this nightmare on themselves.
Even the state’s Attorney General, Democrat Roy Cooper, has said that he will not defend the law in court, which now has multiple lawsuits pending against it. That means that McCrory will have to find outside legal counsel to defend HB2 in court, which will likely cost more than teachers in that state make in a year.
And the new law is already having devastating economic consequences. The High Point Market, the largest furniture market in the United States, and brings in over $5 billion in revenue to the state, now has numerous vendors and buyers boycotting the state over the new law. And numerous companies such as PayPal, American Airlines, and Dow Chemicals, who have huge investments in the state, have spoken out against the bill, rightfully calling it state-sanctioned discrimination.
Oh, and the NBA All-Star Game that’s slated to be hosted by Charlotte in 2017? That’s is now endanger of heading to another city if the law does indeed prove to be discriminatory towards the LGBT community.
McCrory insists that North Carolina is being the “target” of a “vicious smear campaign” and that the law is not meant to discriminate as he said in a video address of the issue on March 30, his third in as many days. McCrory, and the Republicans who pushed this insidious law are acting like five-year-olds who believe that have done nothing wrong.
But if Indiana and Georgia have shown them, they should had been prepared for the backlash that this law was going to create. Instead, the governor and the Republicans in the legislature are trying to play ignorant, clinging to their misguided belief that HB2 will not discriminate against the LGBT community in North Carolina.
It will, and if the state doesn’t amend or repeal HB2 soon, the pain that the state’s LGBT community is now experiencing will spread to the state’s economy in businesses not willing to expand or come to the state.
I wrote in this same space a few weeks ago that Georgia was ready to commit economic suicide for the name of religious freedom if their anti-LGBT “Pastor Protection Bill” came into law. Thankfully, Georgia’s Gov. Nathan Deal did the right thing and vetoed that misguided legislation.
Now, it seems like North Carolina has the gun pointed at their economic heads, and, unlike Deal, Pat McCrory is ready to pull the trigger.