ACC, NCAA moves ramp up pressure for HB2 repeal

Posted September 14, 2016

— The chorus of cries for a repeal of House Bill 2 is growing louder as the Atlantic Coast Conference on Wednesday followed the NCAA's lead and pulled its tournaments from North Carolina because of the state's insistence on maintaining a law that the college athletic organizations find discriminatory.

"This is not just about sports. This is about communities in North Carolina suffering real economic blows," Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democratic candidate for governor, said in a videotaped statement. "The solution is simple: Repeal House Bill 2, and do it now."

The ACC's decision means the state will lose 10 neutral site championships, including the Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship game in Charlotte, which alone brought in more than $32 million last year, according to Charlotte officials. Cary will lose ACC women's soccer and and men's and women's tennis tournaments, and the ACC baseball tournament will be moved from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

House Bill 2 precludes discrimination protections for gay and transgender people and requires transgender individuals to use bathrooms in schools and other public buildings that correspond to their birth gender.

As he did Tuesday in response to the NCAA's move, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory called on the ACC to wait for federal courts to resolve the issue over transgender rights.

"I strongly encourage all public and private institutions to both respect and allow our nation’s judicial system to proceed without economic threats or political retaliation toward the 22 states that are currently challenging government overreach," McCrory said in a statement.

"At some point, Pat McCrory has to understand that this is not a grand conspiracy against him. It's a mistake that he made when he alone signed House Bill 2," said Rep. Chris Sgro, D-Guilford, who also is the director of LGBT advocacy group Equality North Carolina.

"Everybody has been saying for months now this bill is discriminatory – it's bad for business, it means we can't very easily come to North Carolina with our events," Sgro said. "This is information that he has, and he is continuing to create this problem instead of trying to find any sort of solution."

It appears, however, that Republican legislative leaders, who have framed the law in terms of protecting women and girls in public bathrooms, have no immediate plans to back away from House Bill 2.

"The truth remains that this law was never about and does not promote discrimination," House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement. "We will continue to advocate that North Carolina is a great place to live, do business, hold events and to visit."

House and Senate Democrats called Tuesday for a special legislative session to repeal the law, and Sen. Tamara Barringer, R-Wake, joined the effort. But most in the majority party remain silent on the issue.

Dave Miranda, a spokesman for the North Carolina Democratic Party, said voters themselves will have a chance to repeal the law in November by changing the leadership in the General Assembly and the Executive Mansion.

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition, said she doesn't think the loss of sporting events will influence the upcoming election.

"I don't think it's going to have an effect. In fact, I think it's going to make people reconsider whether it's that important to go to a basketball game or a soccer match or a football game," Fitzgerald said, adding that lawmakers who backed House Bill 2 should stand firm and keep the law in place.

"The ACC and the NCAA are trying to bully the state of North Carolina into us coming to a radical sexual agenda that they're pushing off on the state," she said. "So, the real question is how much is it worth to compromise the safety and the privacy of even just one little girl."

Critics of the law point out there is no evidence that anti-discrimination ordinances in more than 100 U.S. cities and states have endangered the safety of women or children.


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  • Teddy Fowler Sep 16, 2:59 p.m.
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    No reason to repeal HB2 now.... all games that everybody is going to move out of North Carolina are already gone.... which is really a good thing.... now they no can longer threaten us through sports

  • Matt Wood Sep 16, 11:06 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    You seem to forget that McCrory only won in 2012 with 54.7% of the vote. McCrory (and any candidate for governor in NC) NEEDS the moderates to win, and that ain't gonna happen due to HB2. Especially considering there are more Democrats registered than republicans, and unaffiliated is almost just as many. Most of those people are NOT voting for McCrory! Not to mention every poll but Civitas has Cooper leading. You're delusional to think he's going to win.

  • Paul Hayeze Sep 15, 6:07 p.m.
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    David Hartman...I forgot , your six documented cases must involve transgender individual cases (Larry Craig does not count)

  • Paul Hayeze Sep 15, 6:06 p.m.
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    David Hartman: There HAVE been numerous assaults against women and children in 'open' restrooms,.....Links to this factual evidence please...(Numerous? we will settle for only six documented cases.)

  • Mick Voiland Sep 15, 3:12 p.m.
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    Despite the inaccurate information another poster has offered here, most every poll on the NC governor's race since Aug. 5 shows Cooper leading over McCrory. The lone exception was the Civitas Poll, a far-right-leaning outfit supported by Art Pope. These NCAA and ACC actions will likely only help Cooper, me thinx.

  • Mick Voiland Sep 15, 3:04 p.m.
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    "In fact, I think it's going to make people reconsider whether it's that important to go to a basketball game or a soccer match or a football game..." -- Tami Fitzgerald of the NC Values Coalition.

    Cab you believe the patronizing, holier-than-thou, I-know-better-than-people-who-enjoy-watching-sports, and people-need-to sacrifice-attending-sports-for-the-sake-of-partisan-politics attitude of this regressive and arrogant toad?

  • David Hartman Sep 15, 1:53 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    More lies and distortion spewed by lgbt activists bent on social engineering programs attempting to depict abnormal behavior as normal. There HAVE been numerous assaults against women and children in 'open' restrooms, and this is outside of showers and changing rooms, for which they claim there is zero risk.

    Regardless, they throw the feelings and rights to privacy of women and children under the bus so that

  • Judy Loftin Sep 15, 1:53 p.m.
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    Todays Polls show McCrory ahead of Cooper. Thank you NCAA and ACC! You can't force us to do anything.

  • David Hartman Sep 15, 1:49 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Pure unfettered nonsense. Mr. Cooper, much like all hypocritical liberals, touts law and order only when they align with their beliefs. He is backed by the HRC, and other big-pocket out of state lgbt radical organizations whose sole purpose is to push their agenda on America and eradicate all opposition to the lifestyle. Care to inquire about how much money the HRC has spent in NC promoting SSM, and the nefarious bathroom bill foisted by Charlotte's dubious city council? Any idea how much they have contributed to Cooper's campaign funds?

    As far as 'tarnishing the state's reputation'; LOL? Among who? Liberal Hollywood elites and hypocritical organizations like the NCAA, who let players abuse women with impunity but somehow feel transgendered people's 'right' to use whatever facility they wish, poses no concern for the women and children of NC.

    That's a good one.

    And Cooper's chances of becoming the next Governor are next to nil.

  • Ray Rivera Sep 15, 12:32 p.m.
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    If the ACC is so "principled", as they suggest is the reason they are moving scheduled championship games out of NC, then why don't they move all ACC schedule games out as well? The ACC should keep their attention on the welfare of the athlete, and say out of politics.