North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law HB2 was featured on Jeopardy Thursday night. The answer was “HB2 is this state’s controversial public facilities privacy and security act, aka the Bathroom Bill.”
So that’s nice, another reminder that North Carolina is famous around the country for a law that discriminates against a group of people. Thanks GOP General Assembly.
A ray of hope on HB2
A group of Democrats in the General Assembly filed legislation this week to finally repeal the law and to establish a statewide nondiscrimination standard that includes protection for LGBT people.
That’s one of the most often overlooked parts of the entire debate about HB2, that it is not only about bathrooms but also about basic protections in employment and public accommodations.
The original Charlotte ordinance (that the city council repealed as part of a deal with legislative leaders to repeal HB2, a deal that the lawmakers didn’t live up to) prohibited discrimination against members of the LGBT community.
And during the debate on HB2 during the rushed special session last March, the House and Senate rejected attempts to add LGBT protections to the statewide nondiscrimination law.
Most GOP leaders have refused to say if they support preventing people from being fired or denied services simply because they are gay. Most of them don’t want to talk about it for fear of alienating their far-right fundamentalist base that vigorously opposes equal rights for gay people.
The politicians supporting HB2 always want to focus instead on the bathroom provision so that can make wildly absurd claims about the dangers of allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity, something more than 200 cities across the country have done without any problems.
Recent stories about emails about HB2 from former Gov. Pat McCrory (who for some reason keeps popping up as a pundit of sorts) included one instance where McCrory ordered his staff to get ABC News to “mention bathrooms” in its coverage of the NBA considering moving its All-Star game out of Charlotte because of the law—which it eventually did.
It is yet another reminder that the whole battle over HB2 is really about the last stand against LGBT rights by the religious right. They not only don’t want common sense access and protections for transgender men and women, they don’t want gay people to have the same protections as other groups on the job or in the public sphere.
Woodhouse tries again to shift the blame
And finally on the HB2 front this week, another inane comment from NC GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse.
Woodhouse absurdly keeps trying to blame Governor Roy Cooper for the inability of the General Assembly to repeal HB2, this week claiming that:
“It is now solely up to Gov. Cooper to create a solution that Democrats and Republicans can both respect and pass. So far, he is failing at the leadership test he brought on himself.”
HB2 was passed by a House and Senate with Republican supermajorities and signed into law by a Republican governor last year. Cooper has repeatedly called for a vote on HB2 repeal this year, which both House and Senate leaders have refused.
HB2 remains in effect and continues to hurt North Carolina because the Republicans leaders of the General Assembly will not allow lawmakers to consider legislation to repeal it. That’s who is solely responsible for the mess we are in.
Another dangerous proposal from Rep. Pittman
And finally, a group of far-right legislators led by Rep. Larry Pittman this week introduced legislation to allow anyone 18 or older to carry a loaded and concealed handgun virtually anywhere they want without a permit.
Supporters of increasing the number of places where people can carry concealed weapons used to say that the training required for the permit meant only responsible people would be carrying loaded guns into places like parks and playgrounds and other public places.
Pittman’s legislation would take those minimum requirements away, allowing almost anyone to take a loaded hidden handgun almost anywhere.
Let’s hope common sense and sanity prevails and lawmakers don’t make our already far too weak gun laws even worse.
Not so fun fact of the day, Part Two.
This one is from Public Policy Polling.
Fifty-one percent of Donald Trump voters believe the “Bowling Green Massacre” shows why we need Trump’s executive order on immigration.
That would be the massacre that never happened, despite numerous mentions of it from key Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway.
That stunning poll result comes a week after a poll from High Point University found that 52 percent of North Carolina voters disapprove of the way Trump is handling his job while only 36 percent approve.