Business, political leaders engage in back and forth over HB2

Posted March 29, 2016
Updated March 30, 2016

— Gov. Pat McCrory found himself on the defensive for another day Tuesday after Attorney General Roy Cooper said his office would not defend the state's new anti-discrimination law against court challenges.

Cooper, a Democrat, is running against McCrory in the 2016 gubernatorial election, and state Sen. Phil Berger saw politics in Cooper's stance.

"His zeal for pandering for the extreme left’s money and agenda in his race for governor is making it impossible for him to fulfill his duties as attorney general – and he should resign immediately," Berger said in a statement.

McCrory stopped short of that request, but he urged Cooper to reconsider.

"When you are the state’s lawyer, you are a lawyer first and a politician second," McCrory said in a video posted to YouTube Tuesday afternoon. "I encourage the Attorney General to reconsider his flawed logic. I am fulfilling my oath of office and we expect him to do the same."

The back-and-forth over the so-called "bathroom bill" continued with groups on either side releasing lists of business supporters.

North Carolina Values Coalition spokeswoman Tami Fitzgerald said her group had commitments from more than 300 North Carolina business owners.

"Hundreds of North Carolina business owners have signed on to a letter thanking Governor Pat McCrory and the General Assembly for passing a law affirming the privacy and safety of businesses, women and children to live and work in accordance with their deeply held beliefs. These businesses support and applaud Governor McCrory for supporting women and children over being politically correct," the organization's statement read.

House Bill 2 Business, education, political, religious leaders respond to HB2 law

The Human Rights Campaign and Equality NC countered with their own letter to McCrory, signed by CEOs of companies including Apple, Intel, Pfizer and Yahoo, urging the governor to press for a repeal of the law.

"We are disappointed in your decision to sign this discriminatory legislation into law. The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business," the CEOs wrote.

Closer to home Pastor Patrick Wooden, of Raleigh's Upper Room Church of God in Christ, called the law "common sense" and said he doesn't understand why political and business supporters have not been more vocal.

"No one can make a truthful argument that it discriminates against anyone," Wooden said. "It hasn’t changed anything.

"North Carolina's a state that has actively come out and said we think it's a good idea for men to use the mens' room and women to use the womens' room ... because everybody knows that a transgendered male is a female and a transgendered female is a male."

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, whose city's ordinance prompted the new law, said she was surprised that, in undoing a bathroom provision that allowed people to use the room of their gender identity, lawmakers would remove all legal protections for LGBT people across the state.

"I will not apologize for standing up for non-discrimination," Roberts said. "I believe that every person should be treated with dignity and respect, and that they should not be turned away from restaurants and hotels because someone doesn't believe in them as a person."

Tuesday night, hundreds of protesters shut down Franklin Street in Chapel Hill as they gathered to speak out against House Bill 2.


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  • Steve Zeh Mar 31, 2016
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    The U.S. Supreme Court, in a decision called Romer v. Evans, found that Colorado’s constitutional amendment violated the rights of gay Coloradans under the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. The amendment, stated the court, deprived one “politically unpopular group” – gays and lesbians in Colorado – from exercising their rights to persuade their local governments for the protections that other groups in those cities already enjoyed. The NCGA has written legislation that does just that.

    They are also trying to supersede the federal government by stating only "biological sex" is protected but Title VII of the Civil Rights act lists "sex". Because federal law trumps state law there will ultimately be discrimination charges filed. But wait, according to HB2 they can't bring complaints to the state. So not only are tg people, in all likelyhood, going to be discriminated against in the NC but it's own government gets to wash their hands and not have to deal with t

  • Fanny Chmelar Mar 30, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    You have been deceived by the bathroom issue.
    Though it has some importance, it's a red herring in the larger scope of this atrocious legislation.

    The problem?
    Sections 3.1 and 3.3 prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, and biological sex. 3.1 also bans it based on age or disability - but only in employment.

    This just legalized discrimination against the LGBT community. But there's a catch - it also codifies that "no person may bring civil action" if they experience discrimination - even when it comes to categories where discrimination is prohibited.

    So, to make this easy: if any single citizen is fired or denied service or is discriminated against for any reason what so ever, they cannot sue in this state regardless of the merit of the case.

    Enjoy talking about the bathroom. We all just got swindled out of our civil rights. Cooper is out there fighting for them... for us.

  • George Herbert Mar 30, 2016
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    Victoria, if you will search for images of transgender men you'll be surprised at who may be sharing your bathroom in the future thanks to HB2. Look up Aydian Dowling and Ben Melzer. Do you really want them to use the women's room?

  • George Herbert Mar 30, 2016
    user avatar

    How can someone be so ignorant as Pastor Wooden? There wouldn't be a fuss about the law if it did not change anything. It preempts local ordinances that provided protection from discrimination for people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status. It also prevents municipalities from passing minimum wage ordinances, not that any in NC had done that.

  • William Mitchell Mar 29, 2016
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    Thank you friend...that saved me quite a bit of typing.

  • Morris Vobserv Mar 29, 2016
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    This bill is to protect the general public from predators. I believe ghat anyone who has a problem with that or tries to twist it into something else is misguided at best.

  • Chance Loria Mar 29, 2016
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    This law does not effect any gay person because gay, bi, lesbian people all gave the same parts they had before the law (the parts they were born with) and will still be using the same bathroom they did before the law. Trans people can legally change their birth certificate after surgery. As such, they are not effected by this law. So, tell me ... If I have a LBGT child, how will they be hindered by this law? How will their life change because of this law?

    I'm waiting ...

  • Dalton Dickens Mar 29, 2016
    user avatar

    Born in the 60's...lived to now. Our world is going to Pot. I don't care what you "think" you are, it is, what it is. Sorry for your confusion. You either have an extension as born, or a void. You can desire either, but not was God given. If you can not accept who you are, we don't have to accept who you think you are supposed to be. It is, that darn simple.

  • Max Smirenny Mar 29, 2016
    user avatar

    If the police and judicial system actually worked... people that blocked traffic would be arrested, thrown in jail and given a hefty fine. As it is now... people that block traffic are allowed to do so, IF any are arrested they are booked and released... judges rarely if ever impose a fine... and the rest of the law abiding citizens suffer in the traffic.

    As for back and forth... we shall see if the moral and common sense thing to limit bathrooms to a persons biological gender can hold up against fascist intolerant people that hold up traffic.

    I'm pretty sure everyone will be better off if the less than 1% of the total population can just deal with the reality of their biological sex and use the correct bathroom... so the other 99% can be safer.

  • Chance Loria Mar 29, 2016
    user avatar

    So sick of the "every person should be treated with dignity and respect" line all while treating the MAJORITY without dignity and respect.

    So sick of the 'whatever the cause of the day is' "Lives Matter". Every life matters so stop thinking that yours matters more than the next person.

    So sick of the du jour minority group of the day thinking they are more special and deserving than anybody else and that the will get whatever they want by screaming loudly and inconveniencing everybody. There are smart ways to go about making changes, ways people respect, ways people will accept. Shoving your POV down another's throat is not the way to go about it.

    So sick of bandwagon politicians like Cooper. If Cooper felt so strongly about this issue, why hasn't he addressed it in the past? No need to respond to that one, the answer is obvious ... No previous political aspiration, No spotlight.