North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R), still struggling with the backlash to his new anti-LGBT law, popularly known as HB2, appeared on a Charlotte radio station this week, where he seemed to acknowledge some societal headwinds.
“Society is changing quickly and anybody who gets in the way is in trouble,” the Republican governor said. “And I might be in trouble.”
That seems like a fair assessment. The editorial board of the News & Observer in Raleigh heard the full interview and wasn’t impressed with the governor’s thoughts on how best to get out of trouble.
Between laughs, McCrory continued to misrepresent the bill as simple protection of privacy rather than what it is: a green light to discriminate against gay and transgender people.After weeks of damaging national publicity and setbacks for the state’s economy, most governors would be hard at work figuring out a way to fix the HB2 mess.
At least for now, that doesn’t appear to be happening. Instead, the governor who “might be in trouble” continues to find himself in the middle of a national controversy for which he was unprepared; his discriminatory law continues to undermine North Carolina’s economy; and as of yesterday, McCrory’s office received some unwelcome news from the Justice Department.
MSNBC’s Emma Margolin reported that federal officials notified the governor that HB2 may violate civil-rights laws.
The agency gave North Carolina officials until Monday to confirm “the State will not comply with or implement” the law, known as House Bill 2, according to a letter obtained by the Charlotte Observer. Should state officials ignore the Justice Department, North Carolina could lose millions of dollars in federal funding. […]“Access to sex-segregated restrooms and other workplace facilities consistent with gender identity is a term, condition or privilege of employment,” wrote Vanita Gupta, principal deputy assistant attorney general, in the letter. “Denying such access to transgender individuals, whose gender identity is different from the gender assigned at birth, while affording it to similarly situated non-transgender employees, violates Title VII.”“HB 2,” added Gupta, “is facially discriminatory.”
Watch this space.