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Greensboro Columnist Susan Ladd on personalizing HB2

Like the rest of us, Susan Ladd – columnist for the News & Record in Greensboro – read former N.C. Governor Pat McCrory’s recent complaint that people don’t want to hire him because, after he signed and defended HB2, people seem to think he’s some kind of bigot.

But Ladd saw something deeper.

As she writes in a column in today’s paper:

But McCrory’s poor-pitiful-me comments did accomplish one positive thing, albeit in a completely self-serving way:

They personalized the effects of HB 2.

Citing last week’s N.C. Policy Watch story featuring transgender advocates Ames Simmons and Candis Cox, Ladd said we could all stand to look beyond the often-discussed economic impact of HB2 to the human costs. Even – and perhaps especially – the GOP lawmakers most responsible for it.

Ladd breaks it down:

Perhaps McCrory, Berger and Moore should consider for a moment what life would be like in the shoes of a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender North Carolinian. What if Pat McCrory had to hide his marriage to Ann or risk being fired? Or if, having been fired for his spousal relationship, he had no legal recourse against his employer?

Suppose Phil and Pat Berger wanted to stay at a cozy bed-and-breakfast inn in the mountains but were turned away by the owner, who disapproved of their relationship. Suppose Moore had to fear being beaten to death in a public restroom for wearing a suit?

That’s the reality for LGBTQ North Carolinians and has been for decades. HB 2 solidified legal discrimination, in addition to endangering transgender North Carolinians with its bathroom provisions.

Suppose lawmakers said your rights didn’t matter because your numbers were few. Suppose they put your rights to a vote.

Berger and Moore apparently lack the empathy to imagine such a scenario, and McCrory has a history of only feeling sorry for himself where HB 2 is concerned.

They also lack factual backing for their claims that transgender people are a threat to non-transgender people or that allowing them rights would enable sexual predators.

Statistics show that transgender Americans are far more likely to be targets of violence.

Yes, HB 2 is hurting the economy. But most important is the damage it is doing to our fellow North Carolinians.

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In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.