Monday, May 9, 2016

Watch: NC Gov. McCrory's presser on suit against fed demand that state not enforce HB2, antiLGBT law

Yesterday, HRC had this to say about Gov. McRory's complaints that the federal government wasn't giving his state enough time to comply with the Justice Department's demand that HB2 be repudiated and not enforced:
     “If HB2 was passed in a day, it can be repealed in a day, too. Pat McCrory’s excuse that he needs more time to comply with the Department of Justice after he rammed through and signed HB2 in the dark of night in a matter of hours doesn’t hold water,” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown. “Pat McCrory even admitted on national television that his biggest excuse for passing HB2 is a lie. He couldn’t cite a single example of threats to public safety from non-discrimination ordinances like the one in Charlotte. That’s because they do not exist. HB2 is breaking federal civil rights laws and has put billions of dollars in federal funding on the line. It must be fully repealed immediately.”
     “Failing to meet the deadline set by the DOJ jeopardizes billions of dollars in federal funding for North Carolina. This is not the time to play political games. Governor McCrory needs to make the repeal of HB2 his number one priority before the deadline expires.” said Equality NC Director of Advancement Matt Hirschy. “HB2 was passed in a under a matter of 12 hours and was signed by Governor McCrory in the dead of the night. After months of economic havoc, and now with billions of dollars in federal funding hanging in the balance there is simply too much on the line to delay a full repeal of HB2.”
Today, HRC and Equality North Carolina issued the following press release following McCrory's earlier announcement that he (not the state's attorney general, who refuses to defend HB2) would sue the federal government to forestall enforcement actions against North Carolina after passage of HB2.
     Today, the Human Rights Campaign and Equality NC issued the following statements in response to the news that Governor Pat McCrory has filed a lawsuit defending his deeply discriminatory HB2.
     "North Carolina's HB2 law is blatantly unconstitutional and violates federal civil rights law,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The Department of Justice has already been clear that it violates the civil rights of North Carolinians. The idea Governor McCrory is going to waste even more time and millions more taxpayer dollars defending it is reckless and wrong. HB2 is a vile law attacking transgender North Carolinians and leaves many more unprotected from discrimination. Rather than defending it, Governor McCrory should be working with state lawmakers to fix the mess he’s created."
     "The lawsuit that was filed today is just another tactic to delay a decision and is a continued waste of taxpayer dollars when it is already very clear that the only option is a full repeal of HB2,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “The 4th circuit court has already provided guidance on this and continued litigation by the state is simply wasteful. The state house and senate must fully repeal HB2 with Governor McCrory's leadership."
North Carolina has already lost more than a half billion dollars - and counting - in economic activity just from companies canceling or reconsidering plans to come to the state, and in cancelled conventions, concerts, and other lost tourism dollars. That doesn’t even include potential economic development that now just won’t happen in North Carolina because of HB2’s discriminatory provisions, or the potential catastrophic loss of federal funding for schools, roads, bridges, and other essential services.
     The U.S. Department of Justice determined North Carolina’s discriminatory HB 2 violates federal civil rights law -- including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 -- and gave McCrory and state officials until today to address the situation “by confirming that the State will not comply with or implement HB 2.”
     HB2 has eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people and prevents such protections from being passed by cities in the future. The legislation also forces transgender students in public schools to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity, putting 4.5 billion dollars in federal education funding at risk. It also compels the same type of discrimination against transgender people to take place in publicly-owned buildings, including in public universities, convention centers, and airports. It also eliminated the ability of North Carolinians to be able to sue if they experienced discrimination in the workforce, including on the basis of race, religion, national origin and sex.  Lawmakers passed the legislation in a hurried, single-day session, and Governor McCrory quickly signed it into law in the dead of night.
     North Carolina has the unfortunate distinction of becoming the first state in the country to enact a law attacking transgender students, even after similar proposals were rejected across the country this year -- including a high-profile veto by the Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota.

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