Attorney General Roy Cooper made it clear Tuesday that his office would not defend the state’s new anti-discrimination law against court challenges.
Cooper called the legislation signed by Governor Pat McCrory last week ‘a national embarrassment.’
McCrory, facing a challenge by Cooper for his seat in November, responded with a You Tube video late in the day:
“I’m standing up to the Attorney General of North Carolina who today refused to fulfill his oath of office to defend the people of North Carolina in a lawsuit filed over the privacy of our restrooms. As the state’s attorney, he can’t select which laws he will defend and which laws are politically expedient to refuse to defend.”
Toward the end of the nearly five minute video, the governor suggested he’s open to revisiting the legislation:
“Let’s put aside our differences, the political rhetoric and yes, hypocrisy, and work on solutions that will make this bill better in the future. And to the people and businesses of North Carolina, we are a state of openness and diversity.”
McCrory’s remarks came as the more than 80 corporate CEOs signed onto a Human Rights Campaign letter Tuesday calling for the repeal of HB2. Here’s an excerpt from their letter:
‘We are disappointed in your decision to sign this discriminatory legislation into law. The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business. This is not a direction in which states move when they are seeking to provide successful, thriving hubs for business and economic development.We believe that HB 2 will make it far more challenging for businesses across the state to recruit and retain the nation’s best and brightest workers and attract the most talented students from across the country. It will also diminish the state’s draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity.
You can read the HRC’s letter in full here. Watch an excerpt of Gov. McCrory’s video below.