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HB2 Fallout Continues in North Carolina

As North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and Republican legislative leaders continue to face intense public backlash over the damaging consequences of HB2, they have mounted a second effort to bully Charlotte into repealing its citywide LGBTQ protections as part of a so-called “reset.”

Meanwhile, HRC, Equality NC and allies in the business community held a press conference this morning in Charlotte to denounce this ploy for what it is: an effort to smear Charlotte and cast blame elsewhere for the devastating impact of HB2 — which now includes the loss of NCAA, ACC and NBA championship games.

Leading North Carolina editorial boards are already speaking out against the thinly-veiled proposal: The Charlotte Observer called it “a step backward, both symbolically and practically” and urged the City Council not to “sell out” Charlotte’s LGBTQ community. And WRAL put it just as bluntly: “The problems that have befallen North Carolina after the hasty and poorly conceived passage of HB2 fall squarely on the shoulders of Gov. McCrory and the legislature’s leadership. They should have the conscience and integrity to repeal the bill, acknowledge and apologize for the terrible consequences at their hands and move on. Charlotte should change nothing.”

This morning, Mayor Jennifer Roberts said the issue would not be on the Council’s agenda tonight, saying “the state should overturn HB2, which the state can do at any time without any action from the City of Charlotte.”

Here are six reasons this “reset” is a setback (and a generally terrible idea):

  1. It wouldn’t fix the problem. The NCAA announced earlier this year it would not locate future events in cities without nondiscrimination protections. Without Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance in place, North Carolina will not win back games.
  2. It pre-supposes that both the NCGA and Pat McCrory will hold up their end of the bargain. Confidence level: zero.
  3. It would leave the LGBTQ community worse off. HB2 will be repealed one way or another — and when it is, the LGBTQ community in Charlotte deserves the nondiscrimination protections it’s elected leaders campaigned on and passed.
  4. It’s a brazen attempt to saddle Charlotte with the political blame for McCrory’s mistake. The Charlotte City Council has steadfastly championed LGBTQ equality in the face of months of bullying by Governor McCrory and his allies — and they’re winning. Rescinding the ordinance would not only be pointless (see #1 & 2) it would create the impression Charlotte bears responsibility for this fiasco.
  5. With 50 days until Election Day, voters are prepared to elect a Governor and new state legislative leaders who will simply repeal HB2. This is, of course, why McCrory and his allies are suddenly talking about a “reset” in the first place.
  6. More than 135 million Americans — or 42 percent of the country — live in city’s with ordinances like Charlotte. Far from suggestions by McCrory and his allies, until HB2 overturned Charlotte’s ordinance, the city was in very good company. In fact, 19 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 100 major American cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh all have these protections.

Transgender Americans Infographic