Governor Pat McCrory 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?
The Charlotte ordinance that McCrory’s law overturned prohibited companies from firing LGBT workers because of their sexual orientation just like they are banned from firing employees because of their race, religion, gender, country of origin, etc.
The statewide nondiscrimination standard established in McCrory’s law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity. Lawmakers defeated attempts in the House and Senate to include those categories, leaving LGBT people in Charlotte and the rest of North Carolina without protections from employment discrimination. Where does McCrory stand?
2) Should it be legal for hotels, restaurants, taxi companies, and other businesses in Charlotte and across the state to refuse to serve people because of their sexual orientation? McCrory apparently thinks so.
The Charlotte ordinance that McCrory’s law overturned also protected LGBT people from discrimination in such public accommodations, and it prohibits any other local government from passing such protections. LGBT people are also not protected in the statewide public accommodations protections in the law.
McCrory’s law simply does not protect LGBT people from discrimination and does not let cities or counties protect them either.
3) What evidence do you have that allowing transgender people to use the public bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity will endanger women and children?
Are there reports from the 200+ cities with similar ordinances that show dramatic increases in sexual assaults? Did you or your staff call law enforcement authorities or other local officials in cities like Columbia, S.C. that have had a similar ordinance in place for years?
4) Why does a bill that Lt. Gov. Dan Forest says deals only with bathrooms take away the right of workers in North Carolina illegally fired for being Christian–or African-American-or female–from suing in state court?
What does that have to do with the Charlotte ordinance? And do you realize that Mississippi is the only other state that bans workers from suing under state law if they are fired based on sex, race, religion, etc.?
5) Should transgender people like Caitlyn Jenner who identify as female be forced to use the men’s restroom? What about transgender people in North Carolina who are unable to get their birth certificate changed? Which bathroom should they use?
6) Why did you sign the bill in the dark of night the same day the bill passed instead of meeting with people on both sides of the issue first, as other governors have done? Why did you not respond to an invitation from the ACLU of North Carolina to meet with transgender youth like the governor of South Dakota did before he vetoed a similar discrimination bill?
7) Why did you describe questions reporters asked about the law as blindsiding you when you signed the bill five days earlier? Isn’t it fair for the media and the public to expect you to fully understand the content and consequences of the legislation you sign?
Chris Fitzsimon is the Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch.