Commentary

On HB2: Love and compassion winning, McCrory losing

LGBT rainbowIt’s increasingly clear that, much as he and his allies did with the battle over marriage equality, Gov. Pat McCrory is losing the fight over HB2 and its promotion of discrimination against LGBT North Carolinians. The latest signal comes from the Governor’s home town, where, the Charlotte Observer reports, the Guv has been reduced to whining that education officials in the state (including UNC President and GOP loyalist Margaret Spellings) are ignoring his demands that they discriminate against transgender students.

Earlier this week, the Charlotte Mecklenberg school system announced that it would follow Spellings’ lead and federal court directives to honor the gender identity of students. As CMS Superintendent Ann Clark said at the time:

“This is about courage, understanding and compassion. These are our children. These are the community’s children.”

Not surprisingly, this has gotten the Guv’s dander up. Yesterday, he released a statement accusing CMS of changing “basic expectations of privacy for students” and “purposely breaking state law.”

It’s not clear what McCrory will do next. Perhaps he will try to bring a lawsuit against CMS, but, of course, if he does that, he’ll be bucking a powerful trend in the the federal courts, which have been siding with those who would combat LGBT discrimination. Like George Wallace, Orval Faubus  and other pro-discrimination southern governors of the past, McCrory is clearly fighting a losing battle here against love, tolerance and progress.

Let’s hope McCrory sees the light sometime soon, but for now, his stubborn obstructionism is enough to call to mind Joseph Welch’s famous 1954 take-down of Joseph McCarthy during the senator’s anti-communist witch hunts:

“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

Note: For those interested in continuing the effort to help open the Governor’s eyes, there will be a “Rally Against Hate” this evening in Raleigh. This is from the event’s Facebook page:

“Join us by Bicentennial Plaza in Raleigh THIS Wednesday, June 22, at 6:30pm for a Rally Against Hate. This rally will be an opportunity to remember the tragedy in Orlando and how it has impacted our community in North Carolina. We will also show our determination to fight against harmful legislation that impacts the lives of LGBTQ North Carolinians by calling for full repeal of HB2 and to pass needed protections for LGBTQ residents and visitors.With less than two weeks until the legislature adjourns, we must be louder than ever. Bring your flags, banners, and signs; invite your friends and family; and let’s come together in Raleigh as a community to stand united against hate in our state.”

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