This was another week that HB2 dominated the headlines, primarily because competing lawsuits were filed by the U.S. Justice Department and Gov. Pat McCrory and state legislative leaders asking the courts to decide if the discriminatory provisions in the anti-LGBT law violated the Civil Rights Act.
McCrory spent most of the week ducking North Carolina reporters while appearing on numerous national talk shows defending the law and attacking the Obama Administration for standing up for the rights of transgender people in North Carolina.
And he continued to make blatantly false and wildly misleading claims about what the law does, how it was passed, and what effect it has on the people in the state he leads. Here are a few of them.
McCrory said repeatedly this week that the statewide nondiscrimination law created in HB2 is the same as the law in most other states. But it is simply not true no matter how many times he says it.
HB2 protects people from discrimination in employment and public accommodations based on their “biological sex.” Most states include simply sex, which federal courts and the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission have interpreted to include sexual orientation and gender identity. That’s part of what the lawsuits are all about.
McCrory’s law includes biological sex to make sure that LGBT people are not protected.
McCrory was asked directly by Greta van Susteren of Fox News if he supported allowing businesses to fire people because they are gay and he said no, before quickly changing the subject.
But the law he signed makes sure that businesses can fire people because of their sexual orientation and that hotels and restaurants can refuse to serve them.
When pressed in a couple of interviews about why the state does not protect LGBT people from discrimination, McCrory said that was something that Congress should do.
But McCrory has yet to formerly call on Congress to expand the federal nondiscrimination law to include LGBT protections and there is no indication that he has contacted anyone in the North Carolina congressional delegation to introduce legislation to do it.
McCrory also repeated one of his most ridiculous talking points that the Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT advocacy group in Washington, was more powerful than the NRA. On one show McCrory mentioned that HRC’s budget was $38 million.
The 2013 publicly available tax return of the NRA shows the organization had revenue of $347 million.
McCrory always blames the HRC for leading what he calls a smear campaign against him and North Carolina. Sometimes he tells interviewers that it’s also the out of touch elites or far left, all of which is absurd. This week the CEO of Bank of America restated his position the General Assembly should repeal HB2.
Corporate executives are among the most outspoken voices against the law and are hardly part of some imagined left-wing conspiracy.
Reportedly the NBA is also restating its intentions to move next year’s all-star game from Charlotte if HB2 is not repealed and there are now reports that the future of the Charlotte Hornets NBA franchise itself is now not certain.
One important question that McCrory needs to answer was raised by a Charlotte Observer story last weekend. The Observer reported that text messages released under public records law showed that McCrory refused to return calls and texts from Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts before he signed HB2 on March 23rd.
He also refused to return messages left by executives with PayPal who tried to talk to him after he signed the bill and before the company announced it was cancelling a planned 400-job project in Charlotte because of the discrimination law.
What sort of governor refuses calls from the mayor of the state’s largest city or officials with a major corporation that has announced it’s coming to the state?
And finally, McCrory continues to demagogue the bathroom provision of HB2, which is only a small part of the law, by making all sorts of claims about what it means for privacy and public safety. But 17 states and more than 200 cities have the same policy in place that Charlotte passed and there have been no reports of major problems.
So did McCrory check with any leaders of those cities before signing HB2? Maybe the mayor could have talked to him about that if he would have called her back before signing legislation that has cost the state thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in lost tourism revenue, not to mention damaged the reputation of the state around the world.
Instead McCrory began his flailing misinformation campaign the day after he signed the bill that continues to this day in an ongoing desperate attempt to defend his indefensible law that has much of the and state country outraged and his approval ratings plummeting.