Eye on the Opposition: Gov. McCrory Accuses Duke of Conspiring with LGBT Advocates

By Megan Clayton • October 15, 2016 • 9:09 am

An interesting audio recording of North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory caught the attention of Buzzfeed’s Dominic Holden, who posted this earlier this week:

North Carolina’s Governor Courted Anti-LGBT Pastors Hours Before The Deadly Hurricane Hit“: As Hurricane Matthew barreled toward the North Carolina coast on Friday, Gov. Pat McCrory spent the night on stage addressing far-right pastors, asking them to support the state’s controversial anti-LGBT law and back his reelection.


McCrory’s speech in support of the discriminatory HB2 law that has cost his state millions in lost tax revenue was delivered alongside anti-LGBT hate group leader Tony Perkins. As Holden notes, with a massive hurricane about to make landfall Governor McCrory seemed to be placing politics over the well-being of North Carolinians. Surely the state’s top official had more important duties in the few remaining hours before Hurricane Matthew began its devastating sweep through the Tar Heel state. As of today, 22 North Carolinians have died from storm-related damage or flooding.

Yet Friday evening, for the better part of an hour McCrory focused on attacking LGBT advocacy groups and the businesses and universities that support equality. Holden noted his most egregious assertion, describing LGBT advocates as “thought police” “purging” and “disappearing” people who disagree with them. He also flagged Gov. McCrory’s comments about some of the most high-profile consequences of HB2, the NCAA decision to move collegiate athletic events out of North Carolina.

McCory also blamed individual college presidents and institutions by name. He first called out the president of Georgia Tech (Bud Peterson, who also serves as chair of the NCAA) before also calling out one of his own state’s most respected academic institutions, Duke University. He said:

“Duke helped lead the effort too. Their meetings are closed and private. Can you imagine the media letting us get away with that? So they made a decision to boycott the ninth-largest state in a private meeting with no public notice, and yet the people they have are non-exempt, tax-paid supported presidents, and they see nothing wrong with that. It’s amazing- the hypocrisy.”

Putting aside the fact the Duke is a private university, it’s also a major economic driver that adds nearly six billion dollars annually to North Carolina’s economy according to a 2015 study. Governor McCrory isn’t just attacking “out-of-state” interests, but perhaps the best-known institution of higher education in his state.

Learn more about the continued fallout from the disastrous HB2 here. 

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