North Carolina Responds To Anti-LGBT Legislation

North Carolina Responds To Anti-LGBT Legislation

Just weeks after passing the discriminatory law, the governor has issued an executive order.

In response to the national backlash to the discriminatory law HB2, North Carolina’s Governor Pat McCrory has issued an executive order “to protect privacy and equality.”

The order will expand North Carolina’s employment policy to cover sexual orientation and gender identity and also “seeks legislation to reinstate the right to sue in state court for discrimination.”

While the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s employment policy makes North Carolina the 24th state in the nation to extend these protections, it does not include legal protections for LGBT individuals in public businesses.

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina released a statement saying, “Gov. McCrory’s actions today are a poor effort to save face after his sweeping attacks on the LGBT community, and they fall far short of correcting the damage done when he signed the harmful House Bill 2 into law which stigmatizes and mandates discrimination against gay and transgender people.”

“With this executive order, LGBT individuals still lack legal protections from discrimination, and transgender people are still explicitly targeted by being forced to use the wrong restrooms.”

In a defensive statement, McCrory said, “After listening to people’s feedback for the past several weeks on this issue, I have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion, a lot of passion, and, frankly, selective outrage and hypocrisy. But based upon this feedback, I am taking action to affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality.”

The ACLU and Equality North Carolina have joined forces and filed a federal lawsuit against the governor. The lawsuit states, “While the discriminatory, stated focus of the legislature in passing HB2 – the use of restrooms by transgender people – is on its own illegal and unconstitutional, HB2 in fact wreaks far greater damage by prohibiting local governments in North Carolina from enacting express anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has already refused to defend HB2 in court. He said, “We’re talking about discrimination here. Not only is this new law a national embarrassment, it will set North Carolina’s economy back.”

McCrory continued to defend his actions, saying, “I have listened to the people of North Carolina, and the people of North Carolina are entitled to both privacy and equality. We can and we must achieve both of these goals. Now I know these actions will not totally satisfy everyone, but the vast majority of our citizens want common sense solutions to complex issues. This is the North Carolina way.”