Social conservatives recycle Texas ad to attack Cooper on HB2

Posted October 26, 2016

NC Values Coalition created this ad to challenge Roy Cooper.

— Social conservatives are using an ad first deployed during a transgender bathroom fight in Houston to criticize North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper over his handling of House Bill 2.

Cooper, a Democrat, is running to unseat Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

The North Carolina Values Coalition, one of a number of conservative nonprofits that have backed House Bill 2, rolled out the ad online Wednesday. It's unclear whether the ad will air on broadcast or cable television, but a spokesman for the group said its leaders would hold a news conference to talk about the spot later this week.

"Roy Cooper's bathroom plan. What does it mean to you?" intones a female announcer, who goes on to warn that it would allow men to enter women's bathrooms and locker rooms. "Even registered sex offenders could follow women and young girls into the bathroom or locker room, and no one could stop them."

It then urges viewers to "prevent danger" and "say no to Roy Cooper and his bathroom plan."

The video in the ad, and much of the wording, has been used on at least two other occasions. It helped defeat a transgender nondiscrimination ordinance in Houston and was later reused for an ad campaign critical of Target when the retail giant announced that transgender customers could use the bathroom of their choice in its stores.

This appears to be the first time it has been used against a specific candidate for office.

North Carolina lawmakers passed House Bill 2 in March in response to an ordinance put in place by the Charlotte City Council. That ordinance would have required businesses and organizations offering public accommodations to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice. House Bill 2 overturned that measure, but went on to create a state nondiscrimination law that excludes LGBT individuals.

Cooper has refused to defend the measure in state court, saying it is unconstitutional.

"HB2 is about discriminating against North Carolinians for Pat McCrory's political gain, and this shameful, exploitative ad proves it," said Ford Porter, a spokesman for the Cooper campaign. "It's time for Gov. McCrory to put his partisan social agenda aside, condemn this disgraceful ad and work to repeal HB2."

While some legislative Republicans in urban districts have called for the law's repeal, McCrory has been a staunch defender of the measure.

"We believe people need to understand that, by not defending HB2 and campaigning against HB2, Roy Cooper has laid out his bathroom plan to allow grown men into bathrooms, showers and locker rooms with young girls. That goes too far," said Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the N.C. Values Coalition.


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  • Melvin Denis Oct 27, 2016
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    "Even registered sex offenders could follow women and young girls into the bathroom or locker room, and no one could stop them." Why can't you use the protections that protect your sons in the mens rooms? Either there are protections now or you don't care about your sons.

  • Alan Womack Oct 27, 2016
    user avatar

    If you don't want to see a trans-gendered person in your bathroom, just do what you do whenever you see poverty, homelessness, suffering veterans, needy children, hunger, suffering and numerous other issues that actually affect real people. Just look away.

  • Aiden Audric Oct 27, 2016
    user avatar

    Tami Fitzgerald. Every time I hear that name, I think of all we pay socially and financially because of her unconstitutional pushes.

    Remember - she's the same woman who thought that marriage equality meant we'd have incestuous and child marriages. She told churches to speak out against the gay community and to have their congregations spread the word. She said that the non-violent pro-equality campaign is "waging guerrilla warfare against the people of North Carolina". She wants our laws to be based on her interpretation of the Bible.

    Same fear mongering, same person, just a different issue. We don't need her vision of "NC Values" - or a governor and legislature who are walking the same walk.