RALEIGH (May 9, 2016) — The full scope of House Bill 2’s discriminatory impacts have become increasingly clear in the weeks since the bill became law and yet the majority of lawmakers and Governor McCrory continue to have a decidedly myopic view of exactly what damage they have wrought on the Tar Heel state.
Even in today’s lawsuit against the U.S. Justice Department, Governor McCrory emphasized the “bathroom” aspect of the so-called “Bathroom Bill” despite its far broader and more severe implications for our state and its residents. He continues to focus on the imagined misuse of bathroom facilities instead of the very real discrimination that was codified in the bill’s statute against workers and the LGBTQ community. There is nothing fictional about the stunning elimination of state remedies that allowed workers to sue their employer in state court if they are fired for a discriminatory reason – any discriminatory reason. And there is nothing imagined in HB2’s prohibition of any community welcoming LGBTQ citizens by protecting them from discrimination. Ever.
The lawsuit only serves to put our state’s future and reputation at further risk, continuing a disturbing trend by our state leaders of disregarding federal law. Gov. McCrory filed the suit in the state’s Eastern District, part of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which already established that HB2 violates federal law. Now the state is looking at the additional loss of billions of dollars should the government choose to withdraw state funding.
Even in the face of federal agencies and the Fourth Circuit having clearly spoken, the Governor seems to once again be saying, “Never mind.” Never has a single law shattered so much legal glass.
The Governor’s Executive Order last month seemed to at least suggest a move in the right direction by calling on the legislature to repeal sections of HB2 that eliminate state protections for workers fired on other discriminatory grounds. The announcement of today’s lawsuit only shows our lawmakers’ energy is being put to ill use when it comes to this bill. It perpetuates a political and social atmosphere of discrimination and hate, even as our nation’s courts have made it pointedly clear that HB2 is on the wrong side of the law – and of history.