North Carolina General Assembly Returns to Session; Lawmakers Must Repeal HB2By Adam Polaski • April 25, 2016 • 9:18 am
Today, April 25, legislators from the North Carolina General Assembly return to work for the short legislative session – and all eyes are on lawmakers, who have been urged by millions to repeal House Bill 2.
The law knocks down municipalities’ ability to enact local ordinances protecting LGBT North Carolinians from discrimination and then codifies anti-transgender policies into state law. It was ramrodded through the North Carolina General Assembly on March 23, with just 12 hours from introduction to Governor Pat McCrory’s signature. It has incited tremendous backlash across the state – from businesses to public figures to LGBT people themselves.
Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe said today:
“HB 2 is doing real damage to North Carolina’s economy and reputation, and lawmakers have an obligation to acknowledge the nationwide outrage and immediately repeal this discriminatory law. HB 2 hurts everyone: It hurts the transgender North Carolinians who are being unfairly singled out for discrimination and demonized by this law’s proponents; and it hurts all the hardworking families in the state who are feeling the very real economic impact of jobs and investments going elsewhere because some lawmakers chose to gamble the state’s reputation on this hateful law. Those same lawmakers have an obligation to clean up the mess they’ve created and repeal HB 2.”
North Carolina lawmakers should repeal House Bill 2 immediately. House Bill 2 must be repealed, immediately when the General Assembly reconvenes today. It is up to the General Assembly to take decisive action that affirms the dignity and respect of all North Carolinians and stops the economic damage that has buffeted the state’s economy.
But despite HB 2 dominating headlines for weeks now, some lawmakers still don’t seem willing to back down from their anti-transgender stance. A survey conducted by the Associated Press and a number of local North Carolina newspapers found that only 41 of 168 lawmakers expressed a desire to repeal the discriminatory bill. The AP noted that many lawmakers chose not to respond to the survey at all. In fact, Senate Leader Phil Berger continues to defend the law and has even dismissed the public backlash as driven by “multimillionaire celebrities pushing a pet social agenda…[and] big corporations….”
McTighe continued: “Businesses of all sizes are joining with North Carolinians from all walks of life in opposing HB 2 because it is wrong, because it is hurting their state and because it is hurting their communities. It’s unfortunate that some lawmakers appear to be digging in their heels rather than trying to unify everyone in the state. Repealing HB 2, repairing their state’s damaged reputation and sending a message to the nation that North Carolina welcomes all must be at the top of the agenda this short session.”
The only way to restore North Carolina’s reputation is to repeal House Bill 2 and pass comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that protect all North Carolinians from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
We’ve seen the damage this bill has done so far – it’s cost North Carolina hundreds of new jobs, millions in lost investment and it has done extraordinary harm to the state’s reputation as a good place to work and raise a family. The legislature must repeal House Bill 2 to finally turn the page on this harmful and divisive chapter.