A report by Buzzfeed found that just nine minutes after declaring a disaster area in 66 counties, Governor Pat McCrory campaigned in support of HB2 with anti-LGBTQ leaders, including one that leads an organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center considers a “hate group.” At the event, McCrory played the victim by bemoaning the fact that he is being “shunned” for staking his re-election bid on an anti-LGBTQ agenda.
In response to the Buzzfeed report, HRC and Equality North Carolina, the statewide organization working to secure equal rights and justice for LGBTQ North Carolinians, released the following statement:
“It’s a sign of his misplaced priorities that Governor McCrory would rather campaign for HB2 while lives in North Carolina were at risk from Hurricane Matthew,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “Tonight, Governor McCrory should explain to the people of North Carolina why he was campaigning with a hate group instead of focusing on storm preparedness. This is just the latest example of McCrory putting himself first, playing the victim while real people were suffering. North Carolina needs a leader who will stand up for fairness and equality, and that leader is Roy Cooper.”
“Pat McCrory has failed the people of North Carolina time and again,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “He and he alone signed the most anti-LGBT bill in the entire nation into law, and he is responsible for the millions of dollars in economic loss we are suffering. His handling of HB2 shows him unfit to be Governor. On the other hand, we have a thoughtful candidate who embodies North Carolina values – common sense, fairness, and a commitment to building our state. That candidate is Roy Cooper. I am certain that this difference will be on display at tonight’s debate, and I know that North Carolinians will stand with Roy Cooper on November 8th, because he stands with us.”
The LGBTQ vote has the power to impact elections up and down the ticket in North Carolina. An estimated 331,000 LGBTQ adults of voting age live in the state – a substantial population given that the state was won in the last three presidential elections by an average margin of 180,500 votes.
Pat McCrory has refused to fully repeal HB2, despite massive economic fallout as companies concerned with protecting their consumers and employees have moved conventions, trainings, operations and productions out of state. Since Gov. McCrory and state lawmakers rammed HB2 into law, the outcry has continued to grow:
- The NBA announced it was moving the 2017 All-Star Game because of the failure of the General Assembly to repeal HB2, costing North Carolina an estimated $100 million in All-Star Game related profits. The NCAA and the ACC also announced they would stand up for the safety of their employees, players, and fans by moving championship games out of North Carolina due to the state’s refusal to repeal its anti-LGBTQ HB2 law.
- More than 200 major CEOs and business leaders signed an open letter calling for full repeal of HB2 – including many of North Carolina’s largest employers.
- Major film studios and corporations, from PayPal to Deutsche Bank, have stopped investments in the state because of the new law’s threat to employees and consumers. Conventions have withdrawn from the state, taking substantial revenue with them. Prior to the NBA and NCAA decisions, the Tar Heel State had already taken a hit of at least $329.9 million in lost business, and in taxpayer money used to defend the measure – including funding Gov. Pat McCrory’s road trips to explain why he signed discrimination into law.
- Artists including Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Dead & Company and Cyndi Lauper have spoken out.
- In May, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit in federal court, stating that HB2’s state-mandated discrimination against transgender people, including government workers and students, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Violence Against Women Act of 2011.
- Joined by 68 major companies, HRC filed an amicus brief in support of DOJ’s effort to block some of the most egregious and discriminatory components of HB2.
- Duke University men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski called the bill “embarrassing” and North Carolina State University men’s basketball coach Mark Gottfried said it “appalled” and “embarrassed” him.