HRC and Equality North Carolina blasted NC Gov. Pat McCrory following his executive order today for his continued failure to lead on the repeal of HB 2.
While the governor’s executive order extends protections to state workers, it does nothing to fix the vile and discriminatory provisions he signed into law through HB 2. Under HB 2, transgender people are prohibited from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity in public buildings, including the University of North Carolina campus and the Raleigh-Durham Airport. Cities still cannot adopt ordinances designed to prohibit discrimination against their residents and visitors. And, today’s action does not undo the damage to the state nondiscrimination laws, which now prevent individuals from bringing suit in state courts.
HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said, “The governor’s action is an insufficient response to a terrible, misguided law that continues to harm LGBT people on a daily basis. It’s absurd that he’ll protect people from being fired but will prohibit them from using the employee restroom consistent with their gender identity. The North Carolina Legislature must act to right this wrong as swiftly as possible. They created this horrendous law, and they need to repeal it.”
Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro said, “While Governor McCrory's Executive Order creates vital protections in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, it does not address the deep concerns we share with members of the business community and citizens across the state about the damaging impact of HB 2. In fact, the order doubles down on the Governor's support for some of the most problematic provisions of HB 2.”
Both HRC and Equality North Carolina continue to call on the governor and North Carolina’s elected officials to repeal HB 2.
HB 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 publicly-owned buildings, including in public universities, publicly-owned airports, and publicly-owned convention centers.
Lawmakers passed the legislation in a hurried, single-day session, 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 HB 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.
As a result of North Carolina’s HB 2 law, which puts thousands of youth, citizens, employees, and visitors to the state at risk, more than 140 business leaders are calling for a repeal effort during the upcoming legislative session and a number of businesses have begun to remove investments from the state.