Editorial: To honor Orlando massacre victims - repeal HB2

Posted June 13, 2016
Updated July 7, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016: House Bill 2 allows discrimination against people because of their sexual preference. That is wrong and needs to end. To honor the memory of the victims of the Orlando, Fla. shooting, the legislature should repeal the law immediately.

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A CBC Editorial: Monday, June 13, 2016; Editorial# 8018
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company.

The depths of our grief are nearly as inexplicable as the incidents that brought it on. A year ago a bigot guns down Christians as they pray in a Charleston church. A month later four Marines and a Navy officer are shot in Chattanooga, Tenn. Ten people are dead, three months later, on an Oregon community college campus, victims of gun fire. The next month, a man armed with an assault rifle kills three people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic. A few days later, 14 local government workers in San Bernardino, Calif., are dead after gunmen fire dozens of shots inside a conference hall.

And now, a community and a nation, are grieving again. This time for the 49 dead and scores injured early Sunday morning at the hands of a lone, well-armed gunman, in Orlando, Fla., at the Pulse night club.

There is little to link these six events over the last year – except the sheer tragic circumstances. The dead did nothing to place themselves in harm’s way – they were going about their lives and daily routines. The backgrounds and motives of the shooters, to the degree they can be identified, were as random as their communities and targets. In Orlando, the victims were apparently targeted for the lifestyles they led. The nightclub where the carnage took place, was a well-known gathering spot for Orlando’s gay community.

We will gather in houses of worship, community halls and other sites to mourn and celebrate the lives of those who were killed. Spontaneous memorials will spring up and impromptu gathering will aid as we seek to come to terms with the soulful scars.

Here in North Carolina, we actually can do something concrete to acknowledge the humanity of the victims of the Pulse club massacre. In North Carolina we can make it clear that no one deserves to be the target of discrimination or bigotry – regardless of their race, religious faith, disabilities, gender or sexual preference.

House Bill 2 makes it legal in North Carolina today for a business to refuse to serve a person because of their sexual preference. An employer, today, can fire a worker because they are gay. House Bill 2 closes off North Carolina courts to those seeking redress because they believe they have been discriminated against in violation of the law.

North Carolina needs to acknowledge that there are no second-class citizens, that it is not permissible, no matter the circumstances, to discriminate against anyone – even based on sexual preference. The General Assembly, in memory of the victims of the Pulse Club massacre and in honor of all the gay and lesbian citizens of North Carolina, should repeal HB2 immediately.