Commentary

Editorials call for repeal of discrimination law

As noted in the post immediately below, the Winston-Salem Journal called on state leaders this morning to repeal the new discrimination law. As it noted in “Governor, legislature must rescind costly ‘Bathroom bill'”:

“And how will the legislature’s law be enforced? Will we need to have a valid ID handy, or even our birth certificate, when we enter a public bathroom? Would law enforcement officers check those suspected of violating the law by asking them to disrobe?

Will we, and our children, find people wearing dresses in men’s rooms and people with beards in women’s rooms — in other words, transgender people? That’s what the new law would have them do.

This isn’t the first time the legislature has wasted taxpayer money on a bill that constrains local government. No doubt some legislators hope to campaign on the hot-button issue. Their opponents will do the same, pointing to their wasteful and discriminatory attitudes.

This law may feel good to the GOP leadership now in the warmth of spring. But November will be here before they know it, and it could be a cold one.

The GOP leaders should rescind House Bill 2, if for no other reasons than it will cost them votes and the state money.”

But the Journal isn’t the only paper to call for repeal. Here’s the Greensboro News & Record in an editorial from this morning entitled “Correct the mistake”:

“Much of the world is moving beyond discrimination against people with different sexual orientations and expressions. Companies view discrimination as bad for business. Progressive cities want to provide a climate of inclusion for residents and businesses. Yet the legislature and governor chose to deny them that opportunity.

So North Carolina faces costly litigation, economic harm and another blow to its image — for what? A short-term political gain?

McCrory should call the legislature back to Raleigh and ask it to reverse its disastrous action of last week. Now.”

Surely, these are just the first of many to come. Stay tuned.

Commentary

As pressure mounts, McCrory flails wildly

Pat McCrory 4There’s an old adage from the world of law that goes like this: If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. If the law is on your side, pound on the law. And if neither the facts nor the law is on your side, pound on the table.

Pat McCrory has quickly resorted to pounding on the table in his attempt to defend the new state discrimination law he signed under cover of darkness last week.

As summarized in the post immediately below by Clayton Henkel, the Guv is lashing out at critics and, in the tried and true tactic of troubled and embattled politicians everywhere, blaming the news media for his problems.

Unfortunately for the Governor, this tactic isn’t going to work. Having been prodded and dragged into this giant mess by ideologues in his own party, McCrory is now quickly emerging as the fall guy on the national scene for the disastrous special session and the state’s latest bottom-of-the-barrel assault on common sense and decency. Indeed, if ever McCrory harbored any notions of further advancement in national politics (admittedly, it was always a long shot anyway), those hopes have pretty clearly been dashed once and for all by the latest fiasco and his utter inability to manage the matter (or even to coherently and credibly explain his position). Other cities and states are already implementing bans on travel to North Carolina.

The best path going forward? Cut your losses Governor. Convene a panel of review, meet with business leaders and call for lawmakers to repeal the new law and disavow the whole thing. You can just say that you and they got carried away with good intentions and confess that you screwed up. It’s going to happen sooner or later anyway. Why not get ahead of things for a change and on the right side of history?

As the Winston-Salem Journal noted this morning in an editorial calling for such action, it will also be in your own political best interests:

“This isn’t the first time the legislature has wasted taxpayer money on a bill that constrains local government. No doubt some legislators hope to campaign on the hot-button issue. Their opponents will do the same, pointing to their wasteful and discriminatory attitudes.

This law may feel good to the GOP leadership now in the warmth of spring. But November will be here before they know it, and it could be a cold one.

The GOP leaders should rescind House Bill 2, if for no other reasons than it will cost them votes and the state money.”

Commentary

ACLU Legal Director, discrimination case plaintiff, national small business expert to join Charlotte’s Mayor Roberts at tomorrow’s luncheon

Mayor Jennifer Roberts

Mayor Roberts

rick-yu

Rick Glazier

Chris Brook

Chris Brook

Carcano-Gilmore

Joaquín Carcaño (at right with fellow plaintiff Angela Gilmore)

Tim Gaudette

Tim Gaudette

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few seats still remain for tomorrow’s special Crucial Conversation with Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts on the state’s decision to overturn her city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.

Click here for more information.

We’re also happy to announce that tomorrow’s event will feature introductory remarks by N.C. Justice Center Executive Director Rick Glazier as well as brief presentations by three additional experts on the controversy:

Chris Brook — Brook is Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, where he oversees the organization’s legal program and its work on a wide range of constitutional law issues, including LGBT rights, racial justice, and religious liberty.

Joaquín Carcaño — Carcaño is a UNC-Chapel Hill employee and plaintiff in the lawsuit filed filed early this morning by the ACLU, Lambda Legal and Equality NC.

Tim Gaudette — Gaudette is Outreach Manager at nationally-based Small Business Majority — a business-run group that helps debunk right-wing mythology and stereotypes regarding the needs and opinions of American small businesses.

Hope to see you there.

News

ACLU says NC’s anti-LGBT law risks billions in federal funding for schools

RESTROOMS-400-1On Friday, Gov. Pat McCrory, responding to an avalanche of criticism for North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law, released a list of “myths vs. facts,” a point-by-point attempt to derail the clamor over the mega-controversial law.

In one point, McCrory argued that the law will not threaten the state’s share of federal education funding under Title IX’s anti-discrimination provisions.

But Monday, in the midst of a press conference announcing a legal challenge to the anti-LGBT law, ACLU of N.C. Legal Director Chris Brook called McCrory’s statements “patently false on a number of different levels.”

Brook said federal education agencies have interpreted Title IX’s anti-discrimination regulations to include protection based on gender identity, meaning N.C.’s $4.5 billion share of federal funding could be imperiled.

“We’re putting $4.5 billion at stake to score political points by marginalizing an already marginalized community,” said Brook.

And, although Title IX was not mentioned in his statement, N.C. Association of Educators President Rodney Ellis was one of many who spoke against the law last week.

“House Bill 2 goes against NCAE’s core values of equality for every individual,” said Ellis. “This discriminatory law turns back decades of civil rights progress and hamstrings local governments from making their communities a reflection of their citizens and their beliefs. Today we stand up with educators, businesses, and local government leaders for the rights of the LGBT community and all the citizens of North Carolina from discriminatory practices.”

More on this to come.

Commentary

Ouch! Editorials blast McCrory administration on LGBT discrimination, coal ash pollution, offshore drilling

McCrory_budget305-aNorth Carolina Governor Pat McCrory did not have a good weekend on the editorial pages of the state’s major newspapers.

The Winston-Salem Journal blasted the administration’s decision to make well water near coal ash cites “safe” by raising the permissible amount of coal ash chemicals in the water.

The Wilmington Star News praised the Obama administration’s decision to block offshore oil and gas drilling near the fragile Carolina coastline and decried McCrory’s (and Senator Thom Tillis’) failure to listen to coastal communities.

And, of course, these editorials come on top of several more in recent days that have rejected the Guv’s new LGBT discrimination law as utterly outrageous.

Raleigh’s News & Observer called it “an insult to all the people of North Carolina. ”

The Greensboro News & Record called it “a sad day for North Carolina and its cities.”

The Asheville Citizen-Times decried the law’s effort to demonize LGBT people.

And. the Guv’s hometown paper, the Charlotte Observer put it this way in likening him to the worst politician-bigots of the 20th Century:

“It was, in the end, about a 21st century governor who joined a short, tragic list of 20th century governors. You know at least some of these names, probably: Wallace, Faubus, Barnett. They were men who fed our worst impulses, men who rallied citizens against citizens, instead of leading their states forward.

This is what Pat McCrory did Wednesday. In just 12 hours. It wasn’t the stand in the schoolhouse door. It was a sprint past the bathroom door and straight into the South’s dark, bigoted past.”

And judging by the mostly mocking national reviews of the new discrimination law — the New Yorker published an article in which McCrory is described as swearing in a class of “bathroom cadets” to enforce the new law — it would appear that any hopes McCrory may have harbored for a national political future after his time in the mansion expires have been pretty definitively flushed down the drain.