Equality Federation denounces North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory for signing into law the most extreme, anti-LGBTQ legislation in the country. House Bill 2 repeals Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance, prevents other towns from passing their own nondiscrimination ordinances, prevents transgender people from being able to use the restroom that matches the gender they live every day, and even prevents cities from adopting living wage ordinances.
Legal groups say the law likely violates Title XII of the Civil Rights Act and could face costly legal challenges. Businesses across the state, including DOW Chemicals, have spoken out in opposition but were ignored by the Governor. During its passage, all of the Senate Democrats walked out in protest.
Ian Palmquist, Equality Federation’s Director of Leadership Programs and a North Carolina resident, said “If the governor had met personally with gay and transgender North Carolinians he would have seen people who go to work, out to eat, and live their daily lives in our communities just like everyone else. He would have seen people who should have a fair opportunity to provide for themselves and their families in our great state. I stand with the majority of North Carolinians when I say that this discriminatory law does not speak for us. We believe in fairness, freedom, and the ability of our cities and towns to govern themselves. In addition to putting our gay and transgender friends and family at risk of serious discrimination, the bill violates federal law, is terrible for business, and is an embarrassment for our state.”
Chris Sgro, Executive Director of Federation member Equality North Carolina said, “Pat McCrory tonight proved that he does not have the best interest of North Carolina in mind. He signed the worst anti-LGBT bill in the entire nation. The bill tears away at the fabric of my community by overturning and preempting vital protections for gay and transgender people. He goes back on his word again by signing legislation coming out of an expensive and unnecessary special session. Red Hat, Biogen, Dow Chemical, and others have spoken in opposition and that’s only the beginning of the impact on the business community here. Unfortunately, this likely means the state will have to spend more money on a lawsuit because of misguided or illegal legislation. It’s an embarrassment for the Old North State.”
Equality Federation has provided support with spokesperson training and connecting North Carolinians to their lawmakers. We will continue to work with Equality North Carolina, ACLU, HRC, Freedom for All Americans, and others to educate lawmakers and the public about the real lives of LGBT North Carolinians, and the importance of nondiscrimination protections for the safety and wellbeing of their families.
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