Today, HRC and Equality NC released new video of an exchange that took place this morning when HRC President Chad Griffin, Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro, transgender advocate Candis Cox-Daniels, and other LGBT advocates hand delivered a letter from more than 100 major CEOs & business leaders that urged Governor McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal HB 2. A link to the new video is available here.
Upon delivering the letter, the LGBT advocates were met by the governor’s chief of staff. After initially agreeing to only allow Griffin and Sgro to meet with the governor, he was persuaded to allow Candis Cox-Daniels, a North Carolinian who is a transgender woman of color, to participate in the private meeting with the governor.
Governor McCrory heard firsthand the harm that he and the state legislature are inflicting on LGBT North Carolinians, and particularly transgender North Carolinians--through the enactment of this law. As a transgender woman of color, Cox-Daniels shared the lived experience and personal challenges she has faced. The three advocates urged Governor McCrory to convene a broader meeting with additional members of the LGBT community--and specifically transgender North Carolinians and their families--to discuss the impact of the radical and discriminatory new anti-LGBT law that was rammed through the legislature last week and signed by the Governor in the dead of night.
“In our meeting with Governor McCrory, we made crystal clear that HB 2 is discriminatory, shameful, and needs to be repealed immediately,” said HRC President Chad Griffin earlier today following the meeting. “We also called on him to continue to meet with LGBT North Carolinians in the days and weeks prior to April’s legislative session. The question Governor McCrory faces is a simple one: will he seize this opportunity to show true leadership, or will he allow North Carolina to remain on the wrong side of history? This law is doing extraordinary damage to the state’s economic prospects, its reputation, and most importantly, it’s LGBT community. The nation is waiting and watching to see which path he will take.”
"While we were glad that the Governor agreed to meet with us today to take the first step towards doing the right thing, we reiterated that he must continue to meet with LGBT North Carolinians who are directly affected by the new law,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “We strongly urged the governor to repeal this harmful bill and restore North Carolina's image by working with the General Assembly to pass comprehensive non-discrimination protections including sexual orientation and gender identity."
“Despite the fact that he was reluctant to meet with me, I hope that Governor McCrory took to heart my personal story and the very real harm this law is inflicting on North Carolina’s transgender community,” said Candis Cox-Daniels. “The people of North Carolina are looking for the governor to show the leadership needed to repeal this appalling law.”
On Monday, Gov. McCrory claimed, “We have not taken away any rights that have currently existed in any city in North Carolina" -- but PolitiFact rated that claim as false. H.B. 2 has eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents such protections from being passed by cities in the future. The legislation also forces transgender students in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity, putting 4.5 billion dollars in federal funding under Title IX at risk. It also compels the same type of discrimination against transgender people to take place in government buildings, including in public universities. Lawmakers passed the legislation in a hurried, single-day session last Wednesday, and Governor McCrory quickly signed it into law in the dead of night.
North Carolina has the unfortunate distinction of becoming the first state in the country to enact a law attacking transgender students, even after similar proposals were rejected across the country this year -- including a high-profile veto by the Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota. North Carolina school districts that comply with the law will now be in direct violation of Title IX, subjecting the school districts to massive liability and putting an estimated $4.5 billion of federal funding from the U.S. Department of Education, as well as funding received by schools from other federal agencies, at risk. This section of House Bill 2 offers costly supposed solutions to non-existent problems, and it forces schools to choose between complying with federal law -- plus doing the right thing for their students -- or complying with a state law that violates students’ civil rights. Read more about how this bill puts federal funding at risk here.