Commentary, News

This Week’s Top Five on NC Policy Watch

hb2_3291. Seven questions for Gov. McCrory about his anti-LGBT law

Governor Pat McCrory this week defended the sweeping anti-LBGT law he signed last week by blaming the media for biased reporting and calling the growing opposition to the discriminatory legislation “political theater.”

McCrory spoke briefly with reporters after a groundbreaking ceremony for a Novo Nordisk facility in Clayton Wednesday, first claiming that misreporting by media outlets was fueling the national and international outrage over the law and then saying that reporters were “blindsiding” him with questions about it.

Here are seven questions that McCrory should answer to clear things up for people who are concerned. There are many more, but answering these would clear up a lot of the lingering confusion about where McCrory stands.

1) Should it be legal for businesses in Charlotte and across North Carolina to fire people who are gay or transgender simply because of their sexual orientation? [Continue reading…]

ACLU_EQUALITY-LAWSUIT2. House Bill 2 lands its first challenge; legal scholars examine  prejudice, motives behind the anti-LGBT legislation

Three state residents and several gay, lesbian and transgender advocacy organizations filed a federal lawsuit early Monday morning challenging the constitutionality of North Carolina House Bill 2, the hastily-enacted law that not only targets transgender individuals by limiting their use of public restrooms to those corresponding to their birth sex but also preempts all local non-discrimination ordinances.

“We’re challenging this extreme and discriminatory measure in order to ensure that everyone who lives in and visits North Carolina is protected under the law,” Chris Brook, Legal Director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said in a statement yesterday.

“This cruel, insulting, and unconstitutional law is an attack on fairness in employment, education, and local governance that encourages discrimination against thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home, and particularly targets transgender men and women. HB 2 aims to override local school board policies, local public accommodations laws, and more.” [Continue reading…] Read more

News

As more states ban travel to NC, another invites NC businesses to relocate away from discriminatory HB2

Boston’s City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to ban taxpayer-funded travel to North Carolina.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also announced that he was prohibiting official travel to the Tar Heel state following the passage of House Bill 2.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin called the North Carolina law an “absolute disgrace” in announcing that his state would be banning official state travel here:

“Vermont has a proud tradition of protecting the rights of LGBT individuals. I’m making this decision in that tradition. I’m proud to join with New York in taking this action. I hope other states will join us in applying pressure on North Carolina to recognize common sense, common decency, and common humanity and repeal this law.”

NC-TRAVELBANNew York – you guessed it – also restricting its state-workers from traveling to North Carolina.

Travel restrictions are now present in six states where elected officials believe North Carolina’s House Bill 2 is discriminatory against the LGBT community.

The governor of Connecticut took things a step further this week in publishing an open letter to North Carolina businesses, inviting them to relocate to a state that is not  “close-minded.”

Here’s an excerpt of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s letter to the NC business community:

Conn_letter

Read Governor Malloy’s full letter here.

Governor Pat McCrory reiterated on national television Thursday morning that the legislation was “common sense” and protected the privacy of men, women and children throughout North Carolina.

News

ICYMI: Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts on the state’s decision to overturn her city’s nondiscrimination ordinance (Full Video)

If you weren’t able to attend NC Policy Watch’s Crucial Conversation with Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts that full program is now available online.

Mayor Roberts joined us to discuss the overturning of her city’s new nondiscrimination ordinance. Roberts was accompanied by NC Justice Center Executive Director Rick Glazier, ACLU-NC Legal Director Chris Brook, plaintiff in the lawsuit against HB2 Joaquín Carcaño, and Outreach Manager of the Small Business Majority Tim Gaudette.

Please watch and then share this special presentation:

YouTube Preview Image
News

Got something to say about Medicaid reform? possible expansion? Today’s your day.

The state Department of Health and Human Services is in the process of seeking the public’s input on the draft NC Medicaid reform plan.

Comments received by  April 18th will help shape the final Medicaid waiver application that will be sent to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for approval. You can view the draft proposal here.

LCiaraearn more about what’s at stake in the reform plan in our recent radio interview with Ciara Zachary, policy analyst with the Health Access Coalition of the NC Justice Center:

Public hearings will be held this week in the following locations:

Wednesday, March 30
McKimmon Center
Room 6
1101 Gorman Street
Raleigh, NC 27606
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Thursday, March 31
Union County Dept. of Social Services
Auditorium
1212 W. Roosevelt Boulevard
Monroe, NC 28110
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 31
Central Piedmont Community College, Merancas Campus
Auditorium
11930 Verhoeff Drive
Huntersville, NC 28078
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Can’t make it to one of the hearings? Written comments can be emailed to:
MedicaidReform@dhhs.nc.gov.

News

McCrory presses AG Cooper to defend anti-LGBT HB2, suggests he’s open to making the law “better in the future”

Attorney General Roy Cooper made it clear Tuesday that his office would not defend the state’s new anti-discrimination law against court challenges.

Cooper called the legislation signed by Governor Pat McCrory  last week ‘a national embarrassment.’

McCrory, facing a challenge by Cooper for his seat in November, responded with a You Tube video late in the day:

“I’m standing up to the Attorney General of North Carolina who today refused to fulfill his oath of office to defend the people of North Carolina in a lawsuit filed over the privacy of our restrooms.  As the state’s attorney, he can’t select which laws he will defend and which laws are politically expedient to refuse to defend.”

Toward the end of the nearly five minute video, the governor suggested he’s open to revisiting the legislation:

“Let’s put aside our differences, the political rhetoric and yes, hypocrisy, and work on solutions that will make this bill better in the future. And to the people and businesses of North Carolina, we are a state of openness and diversity.”

McCrory’s remarks came as the more than 80 corporate CEOs signed onto a  Human Rights Campaign letter Tuesday calling for the repeal of HB2. Here’s an excerpt from their letter:

‘We are disappointed in your decision to sign this discriminatory legislation into law. The business community, by and large, has consistently communicated to lawmakers at every level that such laws are bad for our employees and bad for business. This is not a direction in which states move when they are seeking to provide successful, thriving hubs for business and economic development.We believe that HB 2 will make it far more challenging for businesses across the state to recruit and retain the nation’s best and brightest workers and attract the most talented students from across the country. It will also diminish the state’s draw as a destination for tourism, new businesses, and economic activity.

You can read the HRC’s letter in full here. Watch an excerpt of Gov. McCrory’s video below.

YouTube Preview Image