— The New Civil Rights Movement, LLC | David Badash
Whether North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory‘s decision to make an example of the City of Charlotte and its nondiscrimination ordinance was the result of his own personal beliefs, or a political calculation designed to win him re-election in November, the citizens of the Tar Heel State may never know. But Gov. McCrory is about to know what others who have made similar decisions, like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, have learned: don’t attack the LGBT community with unconstitutional laws that are the fruit of ignorance and bigotry.
North Carolina’s Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper opposes HB2, the bill McCrory called for and signed into law just 12 hours after lawmakers rammed it through the General Assembly in a special session. Cooper, who is challenging McCrory for the governorship, said it best: “The governor lit the match and stood aside, while the fire grew out of control.”
The New York Times’ Editorial Board on Friday blasted McCrory, calling HB2 “an appalling, unconstitutional bill,” and calling for citizens to unseat their governor. “Voters should reject the candidate who made the state a pioneer in bigotry.”
But it gets worse.
Many major U.S., multi-national, and North Carolina billion-dollar corporations, and institutions, are denouncing McCrory’s new law, many of which do business, pay taxes, and employ many people in the Tar Heel State. Apple, American Airlines, Bank of America, Biogen, Burt’s Bees, Citrix, Dow Chemicals, Duke University, ESPN, Facebook, Google, IBM, Lowe’s, the NBA, the NCAA, PayPal, Redhat, and others have made public statements condemning HB2.
The question now becomes, will these major corporations put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, and will LGBT organizations, the LGBT community, and North Carolina residents join together to force lawmakers to repeal McCrory’s law, or will they succumb to time and intolerance?
Gov. McCrory thought he could hammer his personal beliefs into law. Ironically, he claimed he signed what is the broadest anti-LGBT bill in the country to prevent “government overreach.” He disrespected the City of Charlotte and her people, its exceptionally talented and credentialed mayor, and the vast majority of North Carolina voters who oppose McCrory’s actions. He’s about to learn what all this feels like. Even so, he will never understand what it’s like to be transgender and need to use a public restroom. As one sixth grader wrote in a local North Carolina newspaper, “some people just need to use the bathroom.”