Commentary

Scathing Charlotte Observer editorial decries HB2 deal as “betrayal”

A new Charlotte Observer editorial minces few words in blasting the parties involved in today’s HB2 “compromise.” The only derogatory adjective missing that the authors might have added is “McCrory-like.” Here are some excerpts:

“Legislators and Gov. Roy Cooper hailed Thursday’s HB2 repeal bill as a compromise. In fact, it is nothing of the kind. It is a betrayal of the promises the governor made to the LGBT community and a doubling down on discrimination by Republican legislators who have backed it all along.

House Bill 142 literally does not one thing to protect the LGBT community and locks in HB2’s most basic and offensive provision. It repeals HB2 in name only and will not satisfy any business or organization that is truly intolerant of an anti-gay environment and of a state that codifies discrimination.

HB2’s most fundamental requirement was that local governments cannot pass anti-discrimination ordinances that govern public accommodations such as restaurants and hotels. Under Thursday’s agreement, that is still true, until at least December 2020.

This was the first real test of leadership for Gov. Cooper, a Democrat, and he failed spectacularly by inexplicably discarding his earlier promise not to accept any deal that left people vulnerable to discrimination. The new bill ensures that all gay people – not just transgender people seeking to relieve themselves without being harassed – are susceptible to unequal treatment for at least the next 3 ½ years….

Just as Cooper turned his back on the LGBT community, so would the NCAA, ACC and NBA if they endorse it. When the NCAA pulled its events from the state, it specifically said it was doing so because state law invalidates any local ordinances that seek to prevent LGBT discrimination. That is still the case with the new bill, so it is not clear how the NCAA would find it acceptable.

The legislation dodges the whole bathroom question. Charlotte’s ordinance allowed transgender individuals to use the public bathroom of the gender with which they identify. HB2 banned that. The new law does not specify what transgender people are to do.

We understand that (almost) everyone just wants HB2 to go away. We do too. But passing something just to put it behind you while leaving tens of thousands of citizens defenseless against discrimination is dishonorable, and should be a permanent part of the legacy of any public official who casts that vote.”

 

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