Today@NCCapitol (April 25): HB2 backers, opponents to greet lawmakers

Posted April 25

— Lawmakers return to Raleigh on Monday for their 2016 legislative session, and supporters and opponents of a new state law that sets discrimination policy will be out in force to greet them with petitions, rallies and a sit-in.

House Bill 2 has so riled up social conservatives on one side and the LGBT community on the other that it has become the latest flashpoint in the nation's ongoing culture wars. The battle lines Monday will be at the State Capitol, on Halifax Mall north of the legislative complex and inside the Legislative Building itself.

The measure, which was approved in a one-day special legislative session last month and signed into law within hours, requires people to use public bathrooms that match their birth gender, excludes gay and transgender people from discrimination protections and bars cities and counties from extending such protections to them. It also prohibits cities from setting their own minimum wage and eliminates the ability for workers to sue over job discrimination in state court.

REPEAL EFFORTS: The protests are expected to start at 9:30 a.m., when several LGBT advocacy groups drop off at the State Capitol petitions with thousands of signatures calling for a repeal of House Bill 2.

Reps. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, Grier Martin, D-Wake, Graig Meyer, D-Orange, and Susi Hamilton, D-New Hanover, will follow that up by filing a repeal bill at 11 a.m., followed by a news conference to discuss the legislation.

HB2 SUPPORT: The Keep NC Safe coalition of conservative groups has scheduled a noon rally on Halifax Mall to demonstrate support for House Bill 2 and to encourage that lawmakers who approved it to stand firm against repeal efforts. A similar rally two weeks ago attracted hundreds of people to the State Capitol.

MORAL MONDAY: Monday marks the third anniversary of the weekly protests at the Legislative Building under the "Moral Monday" banner. Rev. William Barber, state president of the NAACP, said the occasion will be marked by a 3 p.m. rally on Bicentennial Mall, followed by a mass sit-in at the legislature at 4 p.m. to protest what he and others are calling "Hate Bill 2."

"This bill is an anti-worker bill. It is an anti-living wage bill. It is an anti-civil rights protection bill. It is an anti-family, anti-children and anti-gay and transgender bill," Barber said at a news conference Friday. "This bill is a mixture of a poisonous brew that is as old as the struggle against racism and injustice in the South."

NEW FACES: The House and the Senate will gavel in for brief sessions at 7 p.m., and several lawmakers will be making their first appearances. Rep. Chris Sgro, D-Guilford, the executive director of LGBT advocacy group Equality NC, fills the seat of the late Rep. Ralph Johnson. Rep. Greg Murphy, R-Pitt, a Greenville physician, takes over for former Rep. Brian Brown. Rep. Kyle Hall, R-Stokes, a former congressional staffer, takes over for former Rep. Bryan Holloway. Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake, an attorney, takes over for former Sen. Josh Stein.

Two legislative seats remain vacant until someone is appointed to fill them. Sen. Dan Soucek, R-Watauga, resigned last month, while Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, R-Mecklenburg, resigned on Friday.


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  • Dusty Bottems Apr 25, 2016
    user avatar

    I'm sure the concern over a man (non-TG) in a women's restroom using an ordinance similar to Charlotte's is well-intentioned and honest.

    Denying rights to LGBT in order to safeguard against 'possible fears' is not right: it is discrimination.

    If there is a workable solve to reword the ordinance to make everybody happy (both TG and those w/ concerns over wording) then let's hear some suggestions from the folks who have issue with it.

    To state "I have a genuine concern over this, and I want you to fix it!" is not helpful. State clearly what solution you propose.

    Obviously LGBT was fine with ordinance as written. To tell them to fix without ofveerring solutions, again, is not helping

  • Roy Pine Apr 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Someone better check McCrory's birth certificate at the bathroom door, because the man has no balls.

  • Iam Theantisatan Apr 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Coming to a locker room near you:
    Woman says to man: "What are you doing in here!!!"
    Man says to woman: "I think I'm a woman...
    keep taking your clothes off".

  • Xander Bogaerts Apr 25, 2016
    user avatar

    HB2 is discrimination. If you believe discrimination is a good thing, then support HB2.

    IF you feel discrimination is inappropriate in any form and has no place in modern society, HB2 must be repealed in its entirety.

    The doomsday prophesying about the safety in bathrooms is simply fearmongering and misinformation, intended to scare people into the false safety that discriminatory HB2 provides. This is misinformation.

    HB2 goes beyond the bathroom safety section, by removing protection from discrimination in workforce for LGBT and caps minimum wage.

  • Jarfaris Brown Apr 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Reverend Barber hates anything the Republican controlled Legislature does. He's for a one party system in this country with no elected leaders. As Joseph Shepard said, "This whole thing is stupid." He's right in that probably only 1% of this population will be affected by this law. On the other hand, if bathroom are open to anyone who want to use them, then thousands will be affected. Including all school children, in their schools, women in locker rooms in gyms, etc. What we know about Rev. Barber is that he has a endless supply of protesters he can call on at anytime to protest anything. I think, if he was a real rev., he would be wanting to protect his children. After all a child was beaten to death in a bathroom is Del. last week, and I haven't heard him say one thing about that. He hasn't been there meeting with the community, or using his influence to help the parents of that family. Of course, if it had been white girls that beat the girl to death, he would have been there. BLM

  • Fanny Chmelar Apr 25, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I sense a question in there somewhere between "I don't know what I'm talking about" and "derp".

  • Iam Theantisatan Apr 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Reverend Barber says that
    people are immoral if
    they don't want it to be legal
    for men to undress and shower with women.

  • John Townsend Apr 25, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    The transgender who are going from female to male can compete in the Olympics as men without restrictions. Men who transition to Female must prove that their testosterone level is below a certain point for at least one year before competing as women. (I suppose this will be considered reasonable but expect a lot of protest from women if a lot of trans-females start winning medals)

  • Hamilton Bean Apr 25, 2016
    user avatar

    This whole thing is so stupid. The whole state is upset because a very, very small fraction of our population wish to demand extra special rights due to their adherence to what is admittedly an abnormal lifestyle. Its not like we don't have enough far more serious problems to deal with than where some LGBTQxxxx goes to the bathroom. Lets get real here people...

  • Rudy Bizzell Apr 25, 2016
    user avatar

    Well how long will it be before transvestites will be allowed to participate in woman/girls sports and dont say it wont happen.