Just hours after another major employer announced it would end a planned expansion in North Carolina because of House Bill 2, Governor Pat McCrory issued an executive order to address concerns over the law he signed three weeks earlier.
In a You Tube video, the governor explained his order:
* Maintains common sense gender-specific restroom and locker room facilities in government buildings and schools
* Affirms the private sector’s right to establish its own restroom and locker room policies
* Affirms the private sector and local governments’ right to establish non-discrimination employment policies for its own employees
* Expands the state’s employment policy for state employees to cover sexual orientation and gender identity
* Seeks legislation to reinstate the right to sue in state court for discrimination
Advocates for the LGBT community said while the nondiscrimination protections for state employees (Bullet point #4) are important, the order overall did very little to change the most controversial provision of HB2.
Transgender individuals would still be prohibited from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity in public facilities.
It is also unclear whether state House and Senate leaders will go along with McCrory’s desire (Bullet point #5) to change the law allowing those with claims of discrimination to sue in state court.
Here’s what others are saying about Gov. McCrory’s Executive Order:
“While Governor McCrory’s Executive Order creates vital protections in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, it does not address the deep concerns we share with members of the business community and citizens across the state about the damaging impact of HB 2. In fact, the order doubles down on the Governor’s support for some of the most problematic provisions of HB 2.” – Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro
“The governor’s action is an insufficient response to a terrible, misguided law that continues to harm LGBT people on a daily basis. It’s absurd that he’ll protect people from being fired but will prohibit them from using the employee restroom consistent with their gender identity. The North Carolina Legislature must act to right this wrong as swiftly as possible. They created this horrendous law, and they need to repeal it.” – HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow
“Efforts to divide the LGBT community by extending limited protections but leaving in place the rules mandating discrimination against the transgender community will only strengthen our resolve to fight back against this discriminatory and misguided legislative action. We call on Gov. McCrory and the North Carolina legislature to repeal House Bill 2 and replace it with full non-discrimination protections for all LGBT people.” – ACLU of North Carolina Acting Executive Director Sarah Preston
— Rep. Grier Martin (@GrierMartin) April 12, 2016
— Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) April 12, 2016
Read the actual ORDER. See here. Anti-trans provisions remain the same. So does everything else in HB2. pic.twitter.com/qX52HFq42g
— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) April 12, 2016
— Fitzsimon (@Fitzsimon) April 12, 2016
— Montel Williams (@Montel_Williams) April 12, 2016
— Senator Phil Berger (@SenatorBerger) April 12, 2016
“Today’s action by Governor Pat McCrory sends a positive message to businesses across North Carolina and to our economic development clients throughout the country and world that North Carolina and Charlotte understand the need to attract and retain diverse talent in our workforce.”
– Bob Morgan, Charlotte Chamber President and CEO