The North Carolina General Assembly passed and Governor Pat McCrory signed into law a bill known as HB2, which has been referred to as “the bathroom bill” and is causing widespread calls across the country to boycott North Carolina as a result.
The North Carolina NAACP, led by Dr. William Barber II, architect of the Moral Mondays Movement, along with other major advocacy groups is calling for action—demanding the legislature repeal the bill on April 21. Opponents of the legislation have named it “Hate Bill 2” since the ramifications of the bill go beyond discrimination against the transgender community.
In a press conference on April 9, Rev. Barber announced that if the bill is not repealed the NC NAACP and other groups are calling for mass civil action and sit-ins to begin on April 25.
Here is a video of the press conference:
April 9th, 2016 - Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the North Carolina NAACP is joined by Bishop Tonyia Rawls and members of the Forward Together Moral Movement to address the regressive HB2 bill passed by the North Carolina State Legislature that takes away the rights of local governments to pass anti-discrimination bills and takes away the rights of North Carolina workers to legally protect themselves against discrimination in the work place.
North Carolinians face real threats to our constitutional rights and lives. Instead of addressing these real needs, the NC General Assembly, under the extreme leadership of Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger, called a Special Session to overturn non-discrimination protections across the state in House Bill 2. Now the Governor had signed the worst anti gay bill in the country.
House Bill 2 passed and signed prevents local governments from passing ANY nondiscrimination policy that provides protections for lesbian, gay, and transgender people. HB 2 also gives Raleigh lawmakers unprecedented control over local governments by pre-empting local employment ordinances governing wages, benefits, employee protections and leave policies.
The North Carolina NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement demand equal protection under the law for all. Any bill that undermines the constitutional right of one group hurts us all. HB 2 is extreme and immoral.
Rev. Barber and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove explain the broader implications of HB2 in The Racism Lurking Behind N.C.’s Anti-LGBT Law:
In the quick and heated discussion about HB2, this lurking racism was missed, even by some African-American legislators who voted for the bill. A closer look reveals the more sinister intent of this “emergency” session. While Section 1 of the bill is an attack on equal protection — not just for transgender people, but for all sexual minorities — the “Wage and Hour Act” of Section 2 has nothing to do with LGBTQ issues. Citing the “police power of the State,” lawmakers asserted their authority to override local efforts to raise the minimum wage and protect the civil rights of local residents. In a sweeping power grab, extremist Republicans violated their own political philosophy to exert control over municipalities where the electorate is more diverse. Exploiting public fear and ignorance, they persuaded some Democrats to vote with them. The bill was signed by Gov. Pat McCrory before anyone outside the legislature had time to review it.
Other analysts are also warning about the dangerous impact of what is really in the law that was just passed as shown in Why North Carolina’s New Anti-LGBT Law is a Trojan Horse:
As has been widely reported, the North Carolina legislature rushed last month to pass HB2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which requires transgender people (and everyone else) to use public restrooms according to the biological sex on their birth certificate. It also bars local governments from passing ordinances like Charlotte’s.
The legislation doesn’t stop there, however. Tucked inside is language that strips North Carolina workers of the ability to sue under a state anti-discrimination law, a right that has been upheld in court since 1985. “If you were fired because of your race, fired because of your gender, fired because of your religion,” said Allan Freyer, head of the Workers’ Rights Project at the N.C. Justice Center in Raleigh, “… you no longer have a basic remedy.”
“The LGBT issues were a Trojan horse,” added Erika Wilson, a law professor at the University of North Carolina who co-directs a legal clinic for low-income plaintiffs with job and housing discrimination claims. The broader change hasn’t received much attention, she said, because “people were so caught up in [the LGBT] part of the law that this snuck under the radar.”
Support the boycott, and the groups that are fighting this draconian law. Sign the NC ACLU petition. Get involved.