Commentary: McCrory can’t seem to tell the truth about HB 2

Commentary: McCrory can’t seem to tell  the truth about HB 2
May 05
05:45 2016

Chris Fitzsimon

Guest Columnist

Another week, another round of falsehoods from Gov. Pat McCrory about HB2, the sweeping anti-LBGT law HB 2 he signed in March that is costing the state thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in private investments and tourism revenue.

This time McCrory went on “The Kelly File” on Fox News to defend the law that is now defining his administration.

Host Megyn Kelly talked to McCrory about the bathroom part of the HB 2, ignoring the provisions of the law that prohibits local governments from protecting LGBT people from discrimination or enacting minimum wage ordinances, bans workers illegally fired for their race, religion, sex, etc. from suing in state court, and establishes a statewide non-discrimination standard that does not include sexual orientation or gender identity.

Kelly did force to McCrory to admit that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity does not pose a safety risk, as Sen. Phil Berger and other supporters of HB 2 keep alleging.

McCrory claimed it was all about privacy and that controversy was all the fault of President Obama and groups on the left and misreporting by the national media like the New York Times. It’s always someone else’s fault.

At the end of the interview, McCrory said that PayPal, which cancelled a planned 400-job facility in Charlotte after McCrory signed HB 2, was hypocritical because it operated in states that have the exact same nondiscrimination standard as North Carolina.

But that is simply not true. Many states do have nondiscrimination laws that fail to include protection for LBGT people but list sex as a protected category, which federal courts and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have interpreted to included sexual orientation and gender identity.

HB2 that McCrory signed includes “biological sex” instead, making sure that LGBT people are not protected.

Lawmakers went out of their way to make sure that businesses in North Carolina could fire or deny services to people because they are gay.

That was not an accident. Last week the head of the N.C. Values Coalition, the primary lobbying force behind HB 2, said that protecting LGBT people from employment discrimination “undermines freedom.”

That is who McCrory is standing with in his testy defense of HB 2, folks who want to deny basic civil rights to LGBT people in North Carolina.

GOP House members worried about HB2

McCrory is not the only one on the hot seat. Many GOP legislators are feeling the heat too, judging by reports about a recent closed door meeting of House Republicans, where several members expressed concern that the outcry over HB 2 is hurting their reelection chances.

Reportedly, there are some Republicans who wouldn’t mind seeing the law repealed and many more who want it changed to take some of the pressure off. Senate leaders appear in no mood to do either, guaranteeing that H B2 will continue to dominate the news about the session and play a major role in the November elections.

McCrory not “dreaming big”

The only other legislative issue that made news last week was McCrory’s budget proposal for 2016-2017, which includes a teacher raise and a few important investments in mental health and expanded care for seniors.

But McCrory is being roundly criticized by lawmakers from both parties for not including a raise for state employees in his spending plan, only a one-time bonus that is not counted toward their retirement. State retirees receive no cost of living adjustment at all in McCrory’s proposal.

A spokesperson for Raleigh’s most well-known right-wing think tank was defending McCrory’s weak budget proposal in an appearance on a local television show and came up with the quote of the week, saying, “It’s good that McCrory is not dreaming big.”

No problem there – not from this governor.

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Chris Fitzsimon, founder and executive director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the daily Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts “News and Views,” a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. Contact him at

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