Editorial: N.C. continues to suffer from McCrory's bungled HB2 wedge issue

Posted September 14, 2016

A CBC Editorial: Wednesday, Sept. 14. 2016; Editorial# 8055
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

In a desperate quest for a campaign wedge issue, Gov. Pat McCrory and his ideologue allies in the General Assembly have thrown North Carolina into a very real crisis. Now, EVEN the NCAA, about as staid and conservative an organization as there is on the planet, says North Carolina has gone too far.

Seven NCAA championship events are moving out of our state. It's taking a huge toll from communities, colleges and universities and the people of North Carolina.

But the NCAA is right. Discrimination is wrong. McCrory and the legislative leadership are out of tune, out of step and hurting North Carolina.

You don’t need a calculator to figure up the damage HB2 has inflicted: Lost conventions; cancelled performances; high tech job expansions scrapped; NBA All-Star game scrapped and now the NCAA’s action. It has had an impact on thousands of North Carolina workers and cost businesses and governments millions in revenues. And incalculable, is the blow to the state’s prestige and brand.

In one of his latest television commercials, Gov. Pat McCrory says “folks were actually pushing to make our schools allow boys to use the girls’ locker rooms and showers. Are we really talking about this?”

Well, as McCrory well knows, he was pushing the issue before HB2. The smoking gun is his Nov. 21, 2015 letter to Attorney General Roy Cooper. In that letter, McCrory attempts to bully his Democratic opponent into signing on to a brief in the Gloucester County, Va., federal court case concerning a transgender student and restroom issues.

Smelling the wedge issue boiling, Cooper resisted the bait.

So why did North Carolina get involved in the Virginia case? Not because there was any applicable issue here in North Carolina, but because the South Carolina attorney general asked. And even more important, McCrory and his political advisers saw an opportunity to create an emotional campaign issue. Nothing more, nothing less.

The governor’s next chance to elevate the issue came a few months later when the city of Charlotte prepared to take up its non-discrimination ordinance. Even though the Charlotte law is nearly identical to ones working smoothly in more than 200 U.S communities, the governor warned Charlotte leaders if they passed the ordinance, the legislature would intervene – and he’d back it.

Charlotte passed the ordinance, the legislature and McCrory sprang into action and the rest, sadly, is tragic history.

Let’s be clear – HB2 was created NOT because of any danger to the women and children of North Carolina. That argument is bogus. No one has been able to point at a single incident that would have been covered by the law. Children face greater threats, as has been amply covered in the news lately, from predators in clown suits or Santa costumes.

HB2 was all about partisan politics and unnecessary fear. Now, the lawmakers who put North Carolina in this mess need to fix it.

Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue, D-Wake, has called for an immediate special session to repeal HB2. But it’s highly unlikely before Election Day, given the unwavering stand by McCrory, Lt.Gov. Dan Forest and the legislative leadership.

So, that leaves it in the hands of the voters.

With campaigns in full swing across the state, it is the perfect opportunity for voters to take notice of where office-seekers stand on HB2 and whether they will vote to repeal it.

We’ll be polling the candidates and will tell you where they stand. In the meantime, if you haven’t registered to vote, do it and then exercise that critical right.


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  • John Paul Bertke Sep 15, 2016
    user avatar

    "If you do not approve of what the city of Charlotte did, then don't go to Charlotte...Why the "government over reach" by the state?" - Paul Hayeze.

    It is important to realize that part of the Republican agenda is to consolidate power at the state level and cut back funding to cities, since urban centers tend to lean Democratic.

    This Republican tactic will interfere with local politicians and activists as they attempt to address and solve their cities problems. That is exactly what you are seeing with HB2 and the Charlotte situation you describe. It is another good reason not to vote for Republicans.

    I recall a recent occasion where my neighborhood lobbied the city of Raleigh for a new crosswalk at an intersection. The city replied that they agreed on the need for that crosswalk, but the state government had vetoed the idea, and there was nothing they could do.

  • John Paul Bertke Sep 15, 2016
    user avatar

    The impact of the Republicans and McCrory's HB2 Act is devastating to North Carolina, both to our economy and to our image, and much of it is irreversible. I believe that the economic damage is being grossly under-stated in the media, and the damage falls disproportionately on the lower and middle-income earners. It also puts their jobs and families at risk.

    And, Republicans, stop pretending that HB2 is about bathrooms. It is also about keeping the minimum wage at the bottom of the US statistics, and keeping the poor down.

    Normally, I would urge everyone to stop voting Republican (especially in a year with the likes of Trump, Burr, and McCrory on the ballot). But at this point, as I consider the additional damage coming between now and November, I urge everyone to call for the governor's immediate resignation. That is our best hope right now.

  • Charlie McDarris Sep 14, 2016
    user avatar

    Mary Meadows, your thought is legitimate but carry on the line of thought that teenagers are self conscious about their changing bodies. How self conscious do you thank a transgender boy/girl is? I would argue they are more self aware. Having been a self aware teenager once (and just a shy boy and not LGBT) I just remember being modest and I found a way to change indiscreetly (and I'm now a 50 y.o. married man with 2 children). I seriously doubt a trans boy/girl will be flashing their junk shouting for everyone to check them out. Further, there have been no reported incidents of such acts. I feel confident a school administration would allow any child who feels uncomfortable a reasonable alternative... As well as a reasonable alternative for your child if they asked.

    Last, everyone needs to remember this is not a new issue. The LGBT community has been going to the bathroom somewhere, taking showers, and changing somewhere before all this HB2 mess.

  • Aiden Audric Sep 14, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    "I do not understand why a solo use unisex bathroom does not solve the problem" - if, for example, a school has 10 urinals and/or commodes per school building, we would have to install 20 individual bathrooms. It may be a solution, but a very, very costly one.

    "For someone to force themselves into a locker/changing room so that they can feel comfortable not giving a heck about the entire rest of the class feeling uncomfortable is selfish." - From what I understand, they want access to feel safe, not because they want to bully others.

    "Especially when they can get private accomadations." - special rights and separate but equal never worked.

    "As a teenage parent you do realize how awkward and self conscious they are in regards to their changing bodies don't you?" - yes, and being trans makes it that much more difficult.

    Nothing personal, it's just these points have been discussed quite thoroughly and don't make Constitutional

  • Mary Meadows Sep 14, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I have teenagers as well. The problem for me isn't the restroom so much as it includes the locker room in schools. I have a huge problem with that and that alone. I do not understand why a solo use unisex bathroom does not solve the problem. For someone to force themselves into a locker/changing room so that they can feel comfortable not giving a heck about the entire rest of the class feeling uncomfortable is selfish. Especially when they can get private accomadations. As a teenage parent you do realize how awkward and self conscious they are in regards to their changing bodies don't you ?

  • Paul Hayeze Sep 14, 2016
    user avatar

    OK "DWAIN" (aka Anit-Satan, Skip Harris, etc).....Is it not the citizens of Charlotte problem then to correct the ordinance that was passed? It is their city with their elected official....If you do not approve of what the city of Charlotte did, then don't go to Charlotte...Why the "government over reach" by the state?

  • Thomas Morris Sep 14, 2016
    user avatar

    Dwain, as a user of restrooms for over 47 years, I have NEVER heard a patron question another for proof they are in fact using the restroom of their biological gender, so I'm pretty sure all these liberals you speak of that would NEVER use the bathroom with a LBGT are in fact doing it unknowingly because. like every other person in a restroom, NOBODY ASKS. If I did ask for a person to prove his/her biological gender, people would probably think I had a mental disorder, don't you think? Or figure I was a republican....

  • Rick Nolte Sep 14, 2016
    user avatar

    Unfortunately they still don't get it. Let's create a problem that wasn't there, sell it to the uneducated and then fast track a bill packed full of discrimination clauses through in less than 24 hours. Oh, but you want Zika funding? We will think about it. If liberals are considered to be progressive, it only serves that wingers and baggers are regressive (as in going backwards).

  • Charlie McDarris Sep 14, 2016
    user avatar

    Hey Sean. I have a novel idea.....don't let your children and grandchildren go to the bathroom alone. I have both a teenage son and daughter. When they were young, we NEVER allowed them to go to the bathroom alone. Problem solved - no matter who is in there!!!!. As a side question, where do you think the LGBT community has been going to the bathroom before the HB2 disaster? I can assure you they weren't holding it in. Further, where are the reported assault cases from the LGBT community? I'm an unaffiliated voter and think both parties are full of it. However, the Republican party has completely imploded and is severely damaging the State long-term with this issue.

  • Dwain Van Houten Sep 14, 2016
    user avatar

    For those who want to know the truth read on! The governor nor the republicans did not start this issue but rather a LGBT group and the liberals on the Charlotte City Board. The Mayor ran for a govt position previously and was soundly defeated by a republican! She wanted to get back at the republicans and embarrass them and what better way for them to cause more discontent and hatred in this country! The liberals are masters for dividing people and destroying this country! And, thus they passed the liberal, destructive restroom use city law. But ask yourself this: How many of them will use a restroom with the LBGT individuals! Most probably none! Never! As Neal Boritz so correctly stated; "Liberalism is a mental disease."