Commentary, News

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

SONY DSC1. North Carolina mom: What I’m scared of (Hint: It’s not the transgender woman in the next bathroom stall)

I’m a North Carolina mother of a 5-year-old daughter, and I’m scared.

I’m not scared about the things the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory apparently think I should be scared of, upon reading their statements regarding HB2 (North Carolina’s new all-purpose discrimination law). But I am scared.

I’m scared about decisions made by these same state officials to undermine our environment, making me worried about whether my daughter and her friends will have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink as they grow up. [Continue reading…]

hb2-supporters42. HB2 is not just about bathrooms—and there’s a lot of hate behind it

The folks supporting the sweeping anti-LGBT bill passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory keep saying it is all about bathroom safety, that allowing transgender people to use the public restroom that corresponds to their gender identity would somehow lead to a flurry of sexual assaults in bathrooms by predators dressed as women.

Never mind that there is no evidence of that happening in the 17 states and more than 200 local governments that already give transgender people that basic dignity.

But it is not about the facts anyway. It’s about creating a soundbite to scare people into opposing LGBT rights overall and to activate the fundamentalist wing of the Republican Party in an election year. [Continue reading…]

Bonus video: McCrory tries to walk back parts of HB2, LGBT advocates call Executive Order insufficient, “weak”
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News

Cyndi Lauper shows ‘True Colors’ in stance to repeal anti-LGBT House Bill 2

Grammy, Emmy and Tony award-winning singer Cyndi Lauper announced Thursday she will perform in North Carolina in June, using her appearance to focus on the need to fully repeal House Bill 2.

Here’s Lauper’s official statement on HB2:

lauperPersonal Note From Cyndi:

Sadly, once again, the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have been trampled on with the recent passage of HB2 in North Carolina. Me and my team at the True Colors Fund have been closely monitoring the situation in North Carolina and support the efforts of the Human Rights Campaign, Equality North Carolina, and others to repeal HB2 in the upcoming legislative session. The pressure to repeal HB2 is building and it is beautiful. In the dark haze of such oppression, people and companies are stepping up to fight back against this unjust law and ensure that all North Carolinians are treated with dignity and respect, especially the transgender community.

I have seen time and time again what can happen when people join together to do what is fair and the effort to repeal HB2 is the right and fair thing to do. I am hopeful that all of the current efforts to repeal HB2 will be successful and the True Colors Fund and I will continue to do all that we can to help. In that vein, the best way I know how to make a difference is what I have strived to do my whole life and that is show up for my family, friends, and fans in the LGBT community. So, for that reason I think the best way I can do my part is to turn my show in Raleigh on June 4th into an entire day to build public support to repeal HB2.

I will be donating all of the profits from the show to Equality North Carolina’s efforts to repeal HB2 and I am proud of my manager and agent for joining me in this effort by donating their commissions from the show to this vital effort. I look forward to coming to North Carolina and standing up for equality and fairness. If we truly want an inclusive society, we all have to include ourselves in the effort to make that happen. This is the best way I know how to include myself and urge you to join me in the best way you know how.

Xoxo,

Cyndi

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News

It’s no show for Ringo in a stand “against the bigotry of HB2”

Ringo Starr announced through social media Wednesday that he would cancels his June 18th concert at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary in opposition to House Bill 2.

The statement on Starr’s Facebook page read:

RingoLike Bruce Springsteen and other fellow artists, Ringo stands with those fighting against the bigotry of HB2.

Ringo states, “I’m sorry to disappoint my fans in the area, but we need to take a stand against this hatred. Spread peace and love.”

This law opens the door to discrimination everywhere by limiting anti-discrimination laws against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Ringo adds, “How sad that they feel that this group of people cannot be defended.”

The former Beatles’ drummer is asking fans to support organizations that are working to overturn the law.

The announcement comes one day after Governor Pat McCrory issued an executive order in hopes of diffusing some of the anger surrounding the law.

Commentary, News

McCrory tries to walk back parts of HB2, LGBT advocates call Executive Order insufficient, “weak”

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.

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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

“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

News

Deutsche Bank “unwilling” to expand in North Carolina because of anti-LGBT law, freezes 250 jobs

Deutsche-Bank-LogoDeutsche Bank becomes the latest corporation to announce it is cancelling jobs planned for North Carolina following the signing of House Bill 2.

The global financial services provider announced Tuesday morning that the decision was based on legislation that invalidated existing protections of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens and prevents municipalities from adopting such protections in the future.

“We take our commitment to building inclusive work environments seriously. We’re proud of our operations and employees in Cary and regret that as a result of this legislation we are unwilling to include North Carolina in our US expansion plans for now. We very much hope that we can re-visit our plans to grow this location in the near future,” said John Cryan, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Bank.

Just last September Deutsche Bank confirmed plans to add 250 jobs in Cary by the end of  2017. The company had planned to invest $9 million in Wake County by the end of this year, according to a news release issued by the governor’s press office.

Last week PayPal announced plans to cancel 400 jobs in North Carolina because of the legislation signed by Governor Pat McCrory on March 23rd.