Yesterday, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory was forced to defend his appalling new law that eliminates existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and some veterans; prevents such provisions from being passed by cities in the future; and forces transgender people in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity.
Spoiler: It didn’t go so well.
First McCrory tried to suggest that his bill did not take away any rights that were on the books -- a blatant falsehood given that the LGBT community in Charlotte lost protections, along with veterans in some places, to name two just examples.
The News & Observer reports (watch here):
“When a reporter told McCrory that the law appears to revoke a fair housing ordinance in Greensboro and a policy governing municipal contracts in Raleigh, he said he didn’t know whether the policies would be eliminated. ‘You’re blindsiding me with a question,’ McCrory said. ‘I’ve been traveling all day, so you’re telling me something I’m not aware of.’”
If Gov. McCrory feels “blindsided” by what’s in his own bill, imagine how transgender people must feel after a bill forcing them to use restrooms inconsistent with their gender identity passes in less than a day?
Later, McCrory was interviewed by NBC, who asked him how he would respond to a transgender North Carolinian (watch here):
“Joaquin Carcano, 27, who was born female but identifies as male — he sported light facial stubble on Monday — told NBC News he uses men's bathrooms but under the new law will have to use women's rooms. He said he worried about the reaction. Asked about Carcano's situation, McCrory responded: ‘You know, we all have to make adjustments in life. And we've had the proper etiquette situation for decades in our country, and all of a sudden through political correctness we're throwing away basic etiquette.’”
If Gov. McCrory can't be honest about what his bill actually does, then he should repeal the discriminatory provisions that are in it when the legislature comes back in April. It’s now becoming clear that Gov. McCrory signed this bill in the dead of night after less than a day of debate because he knows he can't defend it based on the facts.
While Gov. McCrory bizarrely goes around the state to argue that no one lost any protections, the reality is that he took away Charlotte's protections for the LGBT community that were just days away from taking effect and he moved North Carolina backwards and forced transgender people -- including students -- across the state to use restrooms inconsistent with their gender identity. In addition, he took away protections against discrimination for veterans in places like Greensboro and Orange County.