GOV. MCCRORY ON MEET THE PRESS: “IT WAS VERY POORLY THOUGHT OUT”: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s attempt to stop the continuing fallout over HB 2 on Sunday's Meet the Press ended up in disaster, as a raft of tough questions from host Chuck Todd left his talking points in tatters. During the interview, McCrory was forced to admit he had not spoken to an LGBT person before signing the law and that a major portion of the bill "was very poorly thought out." But even as Todd pointed out that the legislation echoed discriminatory laws of the past and was costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars, a smirking McCrory refused to repeal HB 2 or support a statewide non-discrimination law protecting LGBT people from employment discrimination. Following McCrory's interview, MTP's roundtable panelists -- including Hugh Hewitt, Kathleen Parker, Chris Matthews and Perry Bacon -- unanimously panned the Governor for continuing to defend HB 2, calling it "bogus," "nanny state at its worst," and a "political mistake." Ouch. More from HRC.
HITS JUST KEEP COMING...THREE PINOCCHIOS FOR PAT MCCRORY: The Washington Post gives North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory “three pinocchios” after he claimed again on Sunday’s Meet the Press that his new executive order will do anything to mitigate the damage of his state’s discriminatory HB 2 law. In the detailed post, Michelle Ye Hee Lee notes McCrory has been vague and misleading in his claims, and has also forgone his responsibility as the state’s chief executive to “set the record straight for his constituency.” The Meet the Press round table after the interview certainly didn’t help McCrory out, either -- even his fellow conservatives Kathleen Parker and Hugh Hewitt called the law “bogus,” saying it fed into “a crazy false narrative,” and that “This is not the terrain the Republican Party wants to fight this election on.” In another recent factcheck, Politifact rated some of McCrory’s previous claims about the law -- including the fact that HB 2 doesn’t take away existing rights -- as false. Given Governor McCrory’s predilection for misleading and lying to the public, HRC last week issued an open records request to get to the bottom of why McCrory and other state leaders rammed the discriminatory bill through the state legislature. HRC also released a “True or False” video debunking some of his worst statements. More from The Washington Post.
NBA STILL CONSIDERING MOVING 2017 ALL-STAR GAME FROM CHARLOTTE: In a statement Friday, the NBA reaffirmed its opposition to HB 2, noted that NBA owners are unanimous in opposing the bill, and made clear that the league has not ruled out moving the game. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a press conference that right now they “can be most constructive by working with elected officials to effect change.” According to The Charlotte Observer, “The All-Star Game, set for Feb. 17 at Time Warner Cable Arena, is projected to pump $100 million into Charlotte’s economy and draw more visitors than any event since the Democratic National Convention.” The momentum against HB 2 continues to grow. As of Friday, more than 160 major corporations had signed HRC's open letter urging Gov. McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal the radical, deeply discriminatory law. PayPal and Deutsche Bank have withdrawn investments in North Carolina because of HB 2. Basketball players including Charles Barkley and Jason Collins have called on the NBA to move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte if the law is not repealed. The NCAA has also said that future NCAA events in the state of North Carolina are in jeopardy as the result of HB 2. More from The Charlotte Observer.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN WILL BOYCOTT MICHIGAN CONCERT IF THE STATE PASSES ITS ANTI-LGBT BILL: Bruce Springsteen isn’t one-note when it comes to support for the LGBT community. The Boss is threatening to cancel a future concert in Michigan, following his cancellation of a show in North Carolina due to the state’s egregious and extreme H.B. 2. Michigan, which is exploring a bill that would target transgender students, is next on his list for a boycott should the legislation pass. Springsteen said, “We hope the bill doesn’t pass, because we love playing in Michigan.” But nevertheless, The Boss says he would have no problem boycotting future shows if Michigan goes the way of North Carolina. More from The Huffington Post.
DURAN DURAN’S ON THE HUNT AFTER HB 2: Concert’s still alive, Time Out Youth gets the dimes, and they’re “hungry like the wooooolf.” Anyways… Duran Duran issued a statement on Thursday stating that they would not cancel their weekend concert in North Carolina, and instead used it as a platform to speak out against the “plain old-fashioned prejudice, fear and oppression” that is HB 2. They also encouraged the sold-out crowd on Saturday to speak out against HB 2 and to support local LGBT organizations, including Equality NC, NC Needs You and Time Out Youth, who they will be donating to in light of this terrible bill. While standing in front of a backdrop of a rainbow-colored American flag, the rockers encouraged fans to sign a TurnOUT! North Carolina petition presented by Equality North Carolina’s Matt Hirschy. More from Billboard and Joe My God.
SWINGING ONTO THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY: The performance group Cirque du Soleil is cartwheeling, backflipping and pirouetting away from North Carolina, announcing Friday that they will no longer perform in the Tar Heel State as long as they restrict LGBT rights. In a post on Facebook, they said, “Cirque du Soleil strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form. The new HB 2 legislation passed in North Carolina is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all.” They have become one of many organizations and businesses saying “non” to North Carolina, costing the state an estimated $567 million so far in lost business. More from Politico.
SHAKE SHACK SAYS NO TO NORTH CAROLINA: There will be no side of fries for Gov. McCrory, with Shake Shack saying it won’t consider opening a chain in the Tar Heel State so long as discriminatory HB 2 is in effect. Founder Danny Meyer, praised in 2015 for increasing his workers’ wage to $15 an hour, says he has no plans to expand his franchise to North Carolina after the state’s bill passed last month. “One of the things small businesses have the opportunity to do is to take a stand,” Meyer says. “ ...I would love to do business in places and bring our products to places that feel welcoming to all people.” So with North Carolina being decidedly unwelcoming, it looks like they may have to wait a long time before they get to enjoy those Shake Shack burgers. More from CNBC.
JOHN KASICH TO THOSE FACING DISCRIMINATION: “GET OVER IT”: The Advocate highlights how John Kasich has again refused to stand up for equal treatment under the law for the LGBT community. Kasich told CNN’s Dana Bash that as president he wouldn’t speak out against states like North Carolina or Mississippi that write discrimination into state law. And his message when it comes to religious refusals? “What I would like to say is just relax, and if you don’t like what somebody’s doing, pray for them, and if you’re feeling like somebody is doing something wrong against you, can you just for a second get over it?” Fortunately, if the election results this year are are any indication, America is also “over it” when it comes to Kasich’s candidacy. More from The Advocate.
US COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS RELEASES A STATEMENT AGAINST ANTI-LGBT MEASURES: The US Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR), which is an independent, bipartisan fact-finding agency on civil rights issues, has released a statement critical of the anti-LGBT legislation and laws being considered and enacted around the country. The USCCR “strongly condemns” these measures, stating that their use of “religious liberty” is a centuries-old tactic that also once allowed legal discrimination against racial minorities. The statement also specifically addresses North Carolina and Mississippi, where recently enacted laws that exemplify the kinds of anti-LGBT bills being debated around the country. The commission ends their statement by saying that these types of measures only work to perpetuate discrimination and have “no place in our society.”
TENNESSEE SENATE COMMITTEE TO HEAR ANTI-TRANSGENDER BILL TODAY: Tennessee's anti-transgender bill, SB 2387, is scheduled to be heard today in the state’s Senate Finance, Ways and Means Committee. The bill is unfortunately one of too many other similar measures throughout the country that targets transgender students by denying students in public schools or universities the ability to use facilities that align with their gender identity. Fortunately, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has shown skepticism over the wisdom of the bill, particularly regarding the potential loss of $3 billion in federal educational funding for its schools and universities. saying that “school boards have figured out how to adjust to each situation” and that he hasn’t heard any complaints from parents about transgender students using the proper school facilities. He also says he will consider the reaction of businesses to the proposals. Last week, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery also released an opinion warning that the state could lose millions of dollars in federal funding if lawmakers move forward with these bills. More from the Huffington Post.
MISSOURI HOUSE COMMITTEE EXPECTED TO VOTE ON SJR 39: As early as today at 4pm CDT, the House Emerging Affairs Committee in Missouri is expected to hear SJR39. Similar to the anti-LGBT HB 1523 recently passed in Mississippi, SJR 39 would open up broad exemptions allowing people and businesses to discriminate against LGBT people without legal recourse. The discriminatory proposal has also received widespread condemnation from fair-minded Missourians and businesses and last week over 50 executives from major corporations, including Salesforce, Marriott International, Bloomberg L.P., and Unilever signed on to an open letter urging state lawmakers to oppose the measure. Last week, Marc Shreiber, spokesperson for the Sports Commission, warned that Missouri stands to lose $50 to $60 million in direct spending from sporting events alone should this measure pass, and could all but forfeit their chances of securing the NCAA championships in the coming years. Governor Jay Nixon, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Dow Chemical Company and Monsanto have all condemned the measure along with The St. Louis Regional Chamber. Despite a historic filibuster by Senate Democrats attempting to stop the anti-equality majority from moving the resolution forward, the Senate passed the measure in early March. More from the last public hearing on HRC’s blog.
TEXAS SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, BECAUSE DUH: The Texas Supreme Court frustrated an attempt by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to overturn a marriage between two women that occurred last February. Paxton said the order of marriage, which was issued a few months prior to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, would cause "legal chaos"if left in place. Paxton also released a since-struck-down opinion that would have allowed officials the right to deny marriage licenses on the grounds of religious objections. The Republican-controlled court nevertheless decided to uphold the marriage order. More from Dallas News.
ARKANSAS WORKING TO DENY GAY COUPLES EQUAL PARENTAL RIGHTS BY RELITIGATING PARENTAL PRESUMPTIONS: Arkansas is complicating its birth certificate laws by asking its Supreme Court to overturn a previous decision that ordered the state to indicate on a child’s birth certificate that both parents in a in a same-sex marriage are legal parents.. The state’s proposed amendment to the decision would require a non-biological parent to get a court order before they could be listed on the child’s birth certificate. The state is arguing that “biology” should be the deciding factor in determining birth certificates, not sexual orientation or marriage. Married straight couples have the benefit of a parental presumption, which means the father doesn’t have to prove a biological connection - it is assumed since the couple is married. More from The Washington Times.
FIVE MINUTES OF EDUCATION IS ALL IT SHOULD TAKE: In response to the growing number of anti-transgender bills circulating throughout the country, several New Jersey schools have taken a stand in support of their transgender and gender nonconforming students. These new policies generally allow students to use the bathroom and locker room that match their gender identity, ask teachers and staff to use students’ prefered pronouns and let students wear clothing that matches their gender identity. Though there has been the typical backlash from conservative groups, Corrine O’Hara, LGBT coordinator with a health education and advocacy nonprofit, believes that “With five minutes of education, it will make sense to people or it should make sense.” O’Hara’s nonprofit, HiTops, is working to add more New Jersey schools to the list of LGBT-friendly ones in the state. More from The Record.
AROUND THE WORLD
STATE DEPT. RELEASES 2015 COUNTRY REPORTS ON HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES: Last week, the U.S. Department of State released the 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which, once again, included extensive information about the human rights of LGBT people worldwide. HRC has created a compilation of the information from the report regarding sexual orientation and gender identity, which includes information about new anti-LGBT legislation as well as the ongoing persecution and violence facing LGBT people around the world. In his remarks on the report, Secretary of State John Kerry focused on the need to respect and prioritize human rights worldwide. The report, which includes more information on LGBT rights than in previous years, underscores the need for continued focus on the plight of LGBT people around the globe and serves as useful tool for combating violence and discrimination against people everywhere in the world, regardless of who they are or who they love. More on HRC’s blog.
THE NORTH REMEMBERS: In the land famous for its greenery and for being the home to the set of Game of Thrones, LGBT advocates and allies have launched a new campaign to fight for marriage equality. Though Ireland became the first nation in the world to pass marriage equality through a national referendum, Northern Ireland is still waiting to join the rest of the Isle. Advocates hope that this renewed effort will get the ball rolling. More here from Pink News.
The Associated Press details how North Carolina will lose $2 million this week at the High Point Market because of HB 2… The Charleston Gazette-Mail shares what happened after nine cities in West Virginia enacted LGBT inclusive non-discrimination ordinances (spoiler alert: nothing)... TakePart fills us in on a bill currently on the desk of the Tennessee governor that would allow counselors to turn away LGBT patients… The Columbus Dispatch debriefs on the latest cities in Ohio to ban unnecessary government travel to NC following the passage of HB 2… The Washington Blade profiles openly-gay Sergeant Matthew Mahl, who’s the new head of the Washington D.C. police union… And Billboard gives and overview of what musicians are doing to protest HB 2.
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