Today, HRC, Equality NC and other civic leaders joined together in Charlotte to denounce Governor McCrory’s latest ploy to deflect blame for his disastrous and hateful HB2 law. As Governor McCrory and Republican legislative leaders continue to face intense public backlash over the damaging consequences of HB2, they have mounted another effort to pressure Charlotte into repealing its citywide LGBTQ protections as part of a so-called “reset.” HRC and ENC were joined by Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, Council member John Autry and other allies to denounce the scheme and called on the North Carolina General Assembly to convene and repeal HB2 once and for all.
Leading North Carolina editorial boards are also speaking out against the thinly-veiled effort, led by the Charlotte Chamber and a hospitality lobbying group on behalf of McCrory and state Republicans. The Charlotte Observer called it “a step backward, both symbolically and practically” and urged the City Council not to “sell out” Charlotte’s LGBTQ community. WRAL put it just as bluntly: “The problems that have befallen North Carolina after the hasty and poorly conceived passage of HB2 fall squarely on the shoulders of Gov. McCrory and the legislature’s leadership. They should have the conscience and integrity to repeal the bill, acknowledge and apologize for the terrible consequences at their hands and move on. Charlotte should change nothing.”
Notably, the so-called “reset” wouldn’t even fix the problem. Earlier this year, the NCAA renewed its commitment to ensuring that all fans and players, including LGBTQ people, are able to enjoy NCAA events without fear of discrimination.. Without Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance in place, North Carolina will not win back games.
“Mayor Roberts has made it clear that the rights of LGBTQ people are not up for grabs, and that Charlotte won’t sell out our community,” said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs. “Not only is this scheme to repeal Charlotte’s protections wrong, it won’t fix the problem. The fact is, Governor McCrory and his allies in the state legislature have had six months to fix the mess they’ve created, and they could repeal HB2 tomorrow without any action from Charlotte. And, like the majority of North Carolinians and businesses across the state, we believe that’s exactly what they must do.”
“One hundred other cities across the nation, including Orlando and Atlanta, have similar non-discrimination protections as Charlotte. These ordinances are common sense local protections that actually create a competitive advantage for Charlotte,” said Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro. “Instead of repealing HB2, Governor McCrory is reprising his role as Blamer in Chief. Not a single entity has left North Carolina because of the Charlotte ordinance – they’ve all left because of HB2. We all know what must be done – and that is to immediately repeal HB2.”
More than 100 communities across the country, including major cities like New Orleans and Atlanta have non-discrimination protections like Charlotte — as do 19 states and hundreds of Fortune 500 companies. In fact, more than 135 million Americans — or 42 percent of the U.S. population — live in cities with non-discrimination ordinances like Charlotte.
This morning, Roy Cooper joined the chorus of business and civic leaders who have called for the General Assembly to fully repeal HB2 without precondition.
Last week, the NCAA and ACC joined more than 200 major business leaders in calling for full repeal of HB2. Repealing Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance would leave North Carolina without an “inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans,” which the NCAA called for when it announced it was pulling its championship games from North Carolina.