By: D’Anne Witkowski*/Special to TRT—
Hey, remember that anti-gay law in North Carolina, HB2 (which stands for “hate & bull$hit”)? Well gosh darn, the whole thing just doesn’t seem to be going very well for them.
Just in case you’re not up to speed, HB2 is that law that seeks to force trans men and women to use only public restrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates, not their actual gender identities. The bill also nullifies any laws that seek to ban anti-LGBT discrimination. In other words, HB2 makes it illegal to make anti-LGBT discrimination illegal.
In a “who could have possibly seen this coming unless their eyes were blinded by hate,” the backlash against the state was swift. The Department of Justice is all, “Oh, hi. Just so you know, HB2 violates a little thing called the Civil Rights Act” which could cost the state lots of federal education dollars.
Tourism, businesses, the NCAA and ACC (no sportz ball for bigots!), and even Bruce Springsteen (“Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry … is one of them,” Springsteen wrote) canceled, fled, and/or ceased plans for expansion. It does not pay, literally and figuratively, to discriminate.
In fact, according to Wired magazine, “[T]he total cost to North Carolinians so far from HB2 protests is slightly more than $395 million.” That’s a lot of millions.
North Carolinians aren’t super happy about this huge bill, by the way. The majority of them want HB2 repealed.
Thankfully, the state’s governor, Pat McCrory, has finally seen the light. If there’s one thing Republicans love more than discrimination against minorities, it’s money. And so McCrory has offered to flush HB2 down the toilet of history, no strings attached.
Ha ha. JK.
Actually McCrory is willing to back a repeal of HB2 only if the city of Charlotte agrees to repeal its LGBT rights ordinance, which protects LGBT people from discrimination, including discrimination in public restrooms. HB2 was passed as retaliation against Charlotte for daring to protect all of its residents.
But Charlotte’s mayor and city council are all, “Nope.” And McCrory is pissed.
McCrory said in a statement, “Despite offering a very reasonable solution and compromise for North Carolina, it’s obvious that D.C. special interest political pressures on elected Charlotte city officials – and even our own attorney general – again derailed common sense.”
Note that the state’s attorney general, Roy Cooper, is a Democrat who refuses to defend HB2 and is running against McCrory to become governor, which is why McCrory’s snit includes him specifically.
But let’s unpack McCrory’s big heap-o-bullshit response a bit more. First of all, McCrory’s use of the words “reasonable” and “solution” and “compromise” is disingenuous at best. “Delusional” is more like it.
Secondly, only a man completely out of touch and/or without a heart thinks that LGBT people are a faceless big pressure “D.C. special interest” group and not, you know, human beings.
As for common sense, give me a break. Dude: you signed a bill that has resulted in your state hemorrhaging nearly $400,000,000 and counting. You diverted a half a million dollars from disaster relief to pay for HB2-related legal bills. You don’t get a say in “sense,” common or otherwise.
While McCrory may not have the power of common sense, he does have the power to call for a special session of the legislature to repeal HB2. And here’s the thing: even if Charlotte did say, “Oh, okay. We hate LGBT people too, now,” there’s no guarantee that HB2 would get the ax. But McCrory should. May the voters of North Carolina enact the very reasonable solution of voting him out of office.
*D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.