This week, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce urged North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to repeal HB2, which removes the ability of people facing discrimination on any basis, including on the basis of race, religion, sex, and national origin, to sue in state court; prevents local cities from enacting their own non-discrimination protections; and forces transgender North Carolinians to use restroom facilities in schools and on publicly-owned property inconsistent with their gender identity.
“The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce opposes HB2 and calls for its immediate repeal,” the organization shared in a statement. “This legislation is bad for business and bad for North Carolina. We must eliminate the issues this legislation creates. The Greater Raleigh Chamber will work with Gov. Pat McCrory, legislators, and other elected leaders to find a solution that is in the best interest of our region and state while strengthening our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equality.”
Earlier this week, HRC announced 160 major corporations have signed an open letter urging Gov. McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal the radical provisions in the deeply discriminatory law. PayPal and Deutsche Bank, have stopped investments in North Carolina because of H.B. 2 and Bruce Springsteen, Boston and Pearl Jam have cancelled concerts in the state to stand in solidarity with LGBT people across North Carolina and the nation. 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Barkley and Jason Collins have called on the NBA to move the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte if the law is not repealed.
Additionally, earlier today, the American Academy of Pediatrics warned the governor and state legislators about the dangers HB2 poses to youth across the state.
“The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce stands with the many companies, communities and individuals in opposing HB2 and all legislation which discriminates against men, women, governments and private companies living in, traveling to and doing business in North Carolina,” president and CEO Geoff Durham said in a news release. “Durham is an inclusive community which is home to many diverse people, festivals and research centers.”
Gov. Pat McCrory and state lawmakers are under increasingly intense pressure to repeal the discriminatory HB 2 in next week’s legislative session. In addition to the businesses, mayors and governors across the country are banning travel to the state, musicians are cancelling concerts, and The New York Times editorial board called North Carolina a “pioneer in bigotry.”
HB 2 has eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents such protections from being passed by cities in the future. In addition, the legislation prevents transgender students in public schools from using restrooms and other facilities consistent with their gender identity. It also compels the same type of discrimination against transgender people to take place in publicly-owned buildings, including in public universities, major airports, and convention centers. Further, HB 2 revokes the ability to sue under state employment non-discrimination law on the basis of any protected characteristic, including race, religion, national origin, and sex. Lawmakers passed the legislation in a hurried, single-day session, and Governor McCrory quickly signed it into law in the dead of night. The discriminatory law is already facing a legal challenge, and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said he will refuse to defend it in court.