What's the Deal in North Carolina?
You’ve probably heard that North Carolina passed a discriminatory anti-LGBT bill in March, but you might not have all the details about what really happened and what the implications are. HRC breaks down how discrimination became enshrined in North Carolina law and the aftermath the Tar Heel State is facing in the wake of the new law.
- •First things first… In February, the Charlotte City Council approved the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity into its existing non-discrimination ordinance, establishing protections for its LGBT residents. Great, right?
- •Well, not everyone thought so. For some reason, some members of the state legislature were upset about these much-needed protections. Really upset. So upset they launched a sneak attack and called a "special session" that was estimated to cost taxpayers a whopping $42,000 to ram through this totally heinous piece of legislation in one day.
- •The bill was then rushed through the N.C. House and the Senate -- where Democrats were given only 5 minutes to review the bill and walked out of the chamber in protest.
- •Good ol’ Gov. McCrory quickly signed it into law in the dark of night. HB2 went from introduction to law in 12 HOURS. Not only did it overturn existing non-discrim protections for LGBT people, it also prevents future provisions from being passed AND eliminates the ability of North Carolinians to sue if they’re discriminated against at work-even on the basis of race, religion and sex. Plus it forces trans folks in publicly owned buildings to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity.
- •Unfortunately for Gov. McCrory, fair-minded Americans decided to take a stand against this hateful and harmful legislation. More than 180 major CEOs and business leaders put Gov. McCrory on notice, signing onto a letter urging his repeal of the discriminatory law. Some of their companies are even bailing on investments, like PayPal, which decided to seek an alternative location for its “global operations center,” a $3.6 million investment that would have brought 400 jobs to the state.
- •But it didn’t stop there. Celebrities started speaking out AND taking action. Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam canceled shows -- and Live Nation spoke out in support of other artists who decide to do the same. Former basketball players including Charles Barkley and Jason Collins spoke out. The NBA has threatened next year’s All-Star Game and the NCAA may not bring events to North Carolina. And Cirque du Soleil backflipped out of the state, cancelling 15 tour dates.
- •Even the U.K.’s Foreign Office warned its LGBT citizens of the risks of traveling to North Carolina.
- •Gov. McCrory continues to face backlash within his own state. The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and Durham Chamber of Commerce both urged a repeal of the bill, and the American Academy of Pediatrics warned about the dangers it poses to youth across the state. But despite the increasingly intense pressure, Gov. McCrory isn’t budging. For now.