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McCrory asks Congress to act on transgender laws

Posted May 27

— Gov. Pat McCrory has asked the leaders of the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate to set nationwide nondiscrimination rules in the midst of a fight over North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2, which deals with bathroom rules for transgender individuals.

"The time has come for Congress to seek a long-term and comprehensive resolution through legislative action and bring long-term clarity to our national non-discrimination laws," McCrory wrote in a letter dated May 18.

Since North Carolina passed House Bill 2 in March, the state has been at the center of a nationwide storm over transgender rights. State lawmakers say they passed the bill in response to a Charlotte City Council vote to create a citywide transgender nondiscrimination ordinance that would have required businesses to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice. The state law effectively voided that, but it went further, reaching into employment discrimination law and defining statewide nondiscrimination law in a way that excludes LGBT individuals.

The federal government has since sued the state, asking a federal court to declare House Bill 2 unconstitutional, and has said that North Carolina could lose federal education funding as a result of the law. However, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that the Obama administration would not withhold those funds while litigation was ongoing.

"The threat of any federal agency to withhold federal funding from any state based on its unilateral and novel interpretation of a federal law is unprecedented and indefensible," McCrory wrote.

Asked whether congressional leaders has given the state any feedback on his letter, McCrory spokesman Josh Ellis said the response had been "positive" and pointed to a House vote earlier this week.

The House voted to prohibit the administration from using any federal funds in such a way that would withdraw money from states over legislation such as House Bill 2. That amendment was part of a number of measures related to LGBT rights that Republican lawmakers sought to attach to the same bill.

While that amendment would keep the state from being punished over House Bill 2, it does not respond to a call for Congress to act on the broader issue. Reaction from North Carolina's federal leaders to House Bill 2 has been mixed. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr told the Huffington Post that North Carolina lawmakers had "botched" their work on the issue.

McCrory has said several times that the law represents a national issue and should be solved at the national level.

"Due to the inaction of Congress to define boundaries and provide clarity on this important and emerging issue, millions of Americans, businesses, educators and elected leaders continue to live and operate under a chaotic system of conflicting laws, regulations and judicial interpretations," McCrory wrote.

Rep. Chris Sgro, D-Guilford, executive director of LGBT advocacy group Equality NC, said he agrees a national solution is needed.

"Congress should act quickly to enact the Equality Act, which would ensure protections for LGBT people across the nation," Sgro said in a statement. "These protections are a best-practice in countless cities and states across the nation and are a business recruitment tool in those location. I do wonder why McCrory signed HB2, the worst anti-LGBT bill in the nation, if he is serious about anti-discrimination measures at the state or federal level."

12 Comments

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  • Hamilton Bean May 29, 7:14 p.m.
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    Not quite---right to work means that you cannot be required to join a union, or to pay dues to a union unless you choose to do so. Your ability to gain employment with any employer in NC or other right to work state is not dependent on union membership or support. As for an individual
    and their right to sue an employer for discrimination or harassment, several major federal laws make such conduct on the part of an employer illegal, and the individual can sue under federal law, which trumps (no endorsement intended) state law.

  • Hamilton Bean May 29, 7:14 p.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Not quite---right to work means that you cannot be required to join a union, or to pay dues to a union unless you choose to do so. Your ability to gain employment with any employer in NC or other right to work state is not dependent on union membership or support. As for an individual
    and their right to sue an employer for discrimination or harassment, several major federal laws make such conduct on the part of an employer illegal, and the individual can sue under federal law, which trumps (no endorsement intended) state law.

  • Marilyn Loftin May 28, 6:47 a.m.
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    He is way ahead of Roy Cooper in the polls.
    This is not just a bathroom bill, it allows boys and girls to shower together, and sleep together on school field trips. Transgenders still have the organs they were born with, and most are still attracted to females.

  • Carol Smith May 27, 6:24 p.m.
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    [quote=15733109]Post by Fannte]u are right. He made a fool of himself on meet the press and in his interview with meghan kelly. The man just doesn't get it.

  • Carol Smith May 27, 6:20 p.m.
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    McCrory is backpaddling. He made a stupid, horrible, embarrassing mistake and has harmed our state, while trying to blame others for what his administration has done. I hope everyone will vote this embarrassment to our state out of office. If not, we are going nowhere fast and spend the next 4 years watching our state deteriorate further.

  • Ken Ackerman May 27, 4:59 p.m.
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    A few years ago I spoke to two different "employment attorneys" here in NC. They were not associated with each other.

    Essentially in a "right to work" state you have one and only one right. That right is to quit. It was explained to me that there is no such thing as a hostile work environment or discrimination or any other type of unfair treatment because you always have the right to quit and if you don't exercise that right then you choosing that environment.

    My point being that singling out the LGBT community is just a distraction from provisions in HB2 that the Republicans actually do care about. These representatives have demonstrated repeatedly over the last few years that they are completely immune to cries of outrage or pleas for mercy. They would happily step over corpses on the lawn.

  • Tom Waring May 27, 4:52 p.m.
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    Great leadership. Create a problem then delegate up.

  • Horace Tate May 27, 3:34 p.m.
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    You do realize that HB2 puts you at as much risk of discrimination without any legal recourse as it does the LGBT community? You may have to pay quite a personal sacrifice to support a bill that addresses a non-existent problem.

  • Roger Clements May 27, 2:51 p.m.
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    "Did you notice yesterdays water appropriations bill? Democrats attempted to add an amendment to it that would extend transgender rights"

    It's a water appropriations bill! It has no business being in that piece of legislation.

    The fact this didn't occur to you, and probably not to many people, shows just how confused our government is - as confused as transgenders themselves.

  • Demute Sainte May 27, 2:26 p.m.
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    And yet each and every time transgender protections get added to the yet to be passed EDNA law... supporting votes fall off, and it fails.

    Did you notice yesterdays water appropriations bill? Democrats attempted to add an amendment to it that would extend transgender rights.... and the bill failed. The funny part: More Democrats voted against the bill than Republicans!

    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/114-2016/h266

    Further... Our own Federal government does not extend the right for transgenders to use whatever bathroom they choose.

    So at a FEDERAL level, at least get the facts strait!

    This SHOULD be a legislative issue.
    But sadly the courts will be the ones to decide this serious issue. And no matter what the outcome, not everyone will be happy about it.

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