North Carolina

North Carolina governor has his most pathetic reason yet for keeping his transphobic bathroom bill

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As businesses continue to flee North Carolina over HB2, the infamously transphobic and discriminatory “bathroom bill,” North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and the state’s Republican leaders said they would seek the law’s repeal if the city of Charlotte would do the same for the trans non-discrimination ordinance which prompted it.

Charlotte’s response: nope.

The city originally passed City Ordinance #7056 last February. The measure banned discrimination against trans people by local businesses. It also affirmed the right of trans people to use the bathroom of their gender identity in public spaces, which is what freaked out state Republicans into passing HB2.

In a news release last Friday by the the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, the lobbying group said it had received assurances from McCrory and friends that HB2 would be killed if Charlotte’s ordinance was scrapped. The lobbyists called on the city to do so at its Monday council meeting.

“The unintended consequences of Charlotte City Ordinance #7056 and House Bill 2 have taken a considerable toll on our state as a whole” the statement read. “The hospitality industry has become collateral damage in a fight it did not start or ask for.”

McCrory’s office echoed the call.

“For the last nine months, the governor has consistently said state legislation is only needed if the Charlotte ordinance remains in place,” a spokesperson for the governor said in a statement. “If the Charlotte City Council totally repeals the ordinance and then we can confirm there is support to repeal among the majority of state lawmakers in the House and Senate, the governor will call a special session. It is the governor’s understanding that legislative leaders and the lieutenant governor agree with that assessment.”

This is, of course, a nonsense thing to push. It also makes it sound like organizations are withdrawing their business from North Carolina are doing so in reaction to Charlotte’s ordinance. They are not.

Charlotte is not buying it at all. Mayor Jennifer Roberts told the Charlotte Observer on Monday that a repeal was not on the table. Roberts appears to have public opinion on her side, with an Elon College poll saying that 49.5 percent of North Carolinians oppose HB2, with 39.5 percent supporting it.

“We appreciate the state wanting to find a solution to the challenges we are facing and applaud the governor for recognizing the state should overturn HB2, which the state can do at any time without any action from the City of Charlotte,” she told the Observer.