After a long holiday weekend, advocacy groups working against anti-LGBT legislatures, including the ACLU and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo began action against North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory for signing a ban on anti-discriminatory legislation into law.
On Monday, Governor Cuomo released a statement and executive order banning non-essential travel to N.C. “In New York,” Cuomo said, “we believe that all people – regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation – deserve the same rights and protections under the law.”
Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco had already banned city employees from traveling to N.C. on public business.
As long as the law in North Carolina creates grounds for discrimination against LGBT people, I am barring non-essential state travel to NC.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 28, 2016
In an interview with NBC News, McCrory dismissed the criticism of civil liberties and anti-discrimination groups, as well as Cuomo’s condemnation of the N.C. law as a “political theater” and said that he would not back down from blocking Charlotte from protecting LGBT individuals.
According to McCrory, the actions against his state are “concocted by left-wing activists,” who are part of a “calculated smear campaign” to find business leaders to oppose him.
Headed to NC in May to discuss how we could invest more in the state. Now the key words will be "could've invested." https://t.co/kTMLo3lB0U
— Chris Sacca (@sacca) March 23, 2016
The North Carolina ACLU and other advocacy groups have filed a civil lawsuit against McCrory, N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper III, the University of North Carolina and its leaders on behalf of three plaintiffs who are LBGT state employees.
“This cruel, insulting, and unconstitutional law is an attack on fairness in employment, education, and local governance that encourages discrimination against thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home, and particularly targets transgender men and women,” said Chris Brook, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina.
HB 2, the legislation that passed both chambers of the N.C. General Assembly in nine hours on Wednesday, March 23 before receiving McCrory’s signature, was designed to take power away from municipalities like the state’s largest city Charlotte, which had passed an ordinance allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.
Going against the typical GOP modus operandi of taking power from the federal or state government to allow for restrictive, discriminatory politics on local levels, the Democratic mayor of Charlotte, Jennifer Roberts crossed a line with them, McCrory said a month ago.
McCrory has defended his stance as a “voice of reason” at a time when “political correctness has gone amok.”
Ordinance defied common sense, allowing men to use women’s bathroom/locker room for instance. That’s why I signed bipartisan bill to stop it
— Pat McCrory (@PatMcCroryNC) March 24, 2016
McCrory said he was fighting for people’s privacy, and against any government entity telling businesses how they should implement bathroom policies.
“Would you want a man to walk into your daughter’s shower and legally be able to do that because mentally they think they are of the other gender?” he said. “I happen to disagree with that, but I’ll allow business to make that decision themselves.”
Speaking to gay-rights and civil-rights coalition leaders, McCrory repeatedly argued for a “common sense” approach to norms in bathroom etiquette.
— Jorge Valencia (@jorgeavalencia) March 28, 2016
One of the plaintiffs in the ACLU suit, Joaquin Carcano, 27, told the press that he is worried about how his masculine appearance will effect women in women’s rooms. He has, until now, used men’s bathrooms.
Asked about Carcano’s situation, McCrory responded: “You know, we all have to make adjustments in life. And we’ve had the proper etiquette situation for decades in our country, and all of a sudden through political correctness we’re throwing away basic etiquette.”
Later, McCrory added: “I empathize with these people who have some very unique needs. But at the same time it doesn’t mean everyone else should have to compromise a well established etiquette of men in men’s restrooms and showers and locker rooms.”
McCrory, a Republican who is up for reelection, called the public’s understanding of the bill a “distortion” in a statement by his campaign, criticizing the media for not reacting as Charlotte defeated a similar anti-discrimination bill a year ago.
Since HB 2 was signed into law last week, large corporations such as IBM and Dow Chemical have publicly opposed McCrory’s actions and have stated their opposition to doing business within the state. Major companies operating in N.C. such as American Airlines, Paypal, Biogen, and others followed suit.
Dow is disappointed in the signing of NC #HB2. We will continue to call for a comprehensive federal framework to ensure fairness for all.–KK
— Dow Public Policy (@DowPolicy) March 24, 2016
Additionally, major sports organizations have spoken out, with the NCAA–where the University of North Carolina is currently a championship contender in the Final Four–stating it, “would monitor the case in deciding where to hold future basketball tournament games.” Meanwhile the NBA said that this law could influence wither or not it will hold its All-Star Game in Charlotte next year.
NBA Statement Regarding Legislation Recently Signed Into Law In North Carolina pic.twitter.com/xwoOo9MyeR
— NBA (@NBA) March 24, 2016
A new Twitter Account @BoycottNC has emerged which calls for businesses and consumers to take a stand against anti-LGBT policy in N.C. Using the hashtag, #WeAreNotThis, the group’s message has been trending.
— Boycott NC (@BoycottNC) March 29, 2016
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper came out strongly against the backlash, saying that he won’t defend HB 2 in court should it reach that level.