Thursday, March 30, 2017

QUEER QUOTE: North Carolina Enacts Bill To Replace #HB2 With Even Worse Law!

Hmmm! Lots of people had hoped that with the election of a Democratic Governor, Richard Cooper, North Carolina's anti-LGBT public policy would change. The previous Republican governor, Pat McRory, had championed HB2, invidious legislation which overturned local LGBT anti-discrimination ordinances, prevented the enactment of new ones at the local level, and purported to legislate that everyone in the state must use the bathroom that matches their birth gender in state-owned buildings.

The backlash to HB2 was intense, with the NCAA refusing to hold sporting events in the states, leading to extreme economic fallout for the state which is estimated in the billions of dollars. The gubernatorial election was considered a referendum on HB2, and Cooper, who was the Attorney General of the State who refused to defend it in court when North Carolina was sued by the federal government.

Today comes news that Gov. Cooper has signed into law a bill which purports to repeal HB2 but which also enacts public policy which freezes North Carolina's anti-LGBT public policy in place until 2020!

The response from several prominent LGBT advocacy groups in to the enactment of a "fake repeal" of HB2 is today's Queer Quote:
“After more than a year of inaction, today North Carolina lawmakers doubled-down on discrimination,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This new law does not repeal HB2. Instead, it institutes a statewide prohibition on equality by banning non-discrimination protections across North Carolina and fuels the flames of anti-transgender hate. Each and every lawmaker who supported this bill has betrayed the LGBTQ community. HRC will explore every legal action to combat this dangerous legislation, and we urge all businesses, sports leagues and entertainers who have fought against HB2 to continue standing strong with the LGBTQ community attacked by this hateful law.” 
"HB2 was hastily passed without any input from the LGBTQ community just one year ago," said Chris Sgro Equality NC Executive Director. "Today, we returned to the legislature with a deal made between Governor Cooper, Phil Berger and Tim Moore that once again left out the ones most impacted by the discriminatory law - LGBTQ North Carolinians. Lawmakers and Governor Cooper have failed to resolve the problems with HB2 by doubling down on discrimination. Once again, the North Carolina General Assembly has enshrined discrimination into North Carolina law." 
“This bill and those like it are based on the vicious lie that trans people represent some type of danger to others,” said NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling. “When, in fact, there are thousands of school children who have been terrorized by HB 2, and thousands of parents constantly worried about the safety of their children. The best thing North Carolina can do is to simply repeal HB 2 outright, not this outrageously veiled attack on anti-discrimination."
The statement goes on to reference the 1996 Supreme Court case Romer v. Evans and its ruling striking down a Colorado anti-gay constitutional amendment due to the animus (i.e homophobia) reflected by the legislation.

We shall continue to be following this situation closely.

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