North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory did some damage control today, announcing that he has signed an executive order protecting LGBT state employees from discrimination. In the clip below, McCrory also declares that he will pursue amending House Bill 2 to reinstate the right to sue for discrimination in state courts.
Today’s action does NOT, however, reinstate local LGBT protections nor does it override the so-called “bathroom bill” portion of HB 2. LGBT citizens remain excluded from North Carolina’s employment, housing, and public accommodation protections, just as they are in many other states.
JUST IN: Amid backlash, North Carolina Gov. McCrory signs executive order to expand protections for LGBT citizens pic.twitter.com/oTFCkOV95F
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 12, 2016
UPDATE: See the full executive order.
UPDATE II: The ACLU is NOT impressed.
“Gov. McCrory’s actions today are a poor effort to save face after his sweeping attacks on the LGBT community, and they fall far short of correcting the damage done when he signed the harmful House Bill 2 into law which stigmatizes and mandates discrimination against gay and transgender people. With this executive order, LGBT individuals still lack legal protections from discrimination, and transgender people are still explicitly targeted by being forced to use the wrong restroom.
“An impressive and growing number of businesses, faith leaders, and public figures have come out to condemn House Bill 2 as an unnecessary and dangerous measure that unfairly targets gay and transgender people. Regardless of political affiliation, more and more political leaders also understand that discrimination is bad for business and politically toxic. The public believes in equality and fairness and House Bill 2 and measures like it are out of step with the values of most Americans.
“Efforts to divide the LGBT community by extending limited protections but leaving in place the rules mandating discrimination against the transgender community will only strengthen our resolve to fight back against this discriminatory and misguided legislative action. We call on Gov. McCrory and the North Carolina legislature to repeal House Bill 2 and replace it with full non-discrimination protections for all LGBT people.”
UPDATE III: The National Center for Transgender Equality isn’t having it either.
“It’s obvious that Gov. McCrory is trying to save his reputation with this desperate move. His executive order says that transgender state employees are protected from discrimination, but they still can’t use the restroom at work. It doesn’t make sense. In fact, the order does nothing to change the government-mandated discrimination against all trans people in public buildings across the state. And it doesn’t change the fact that most LGBT people in the state still have zero protections against discrimination. If Gov. McCrory thinks anyone is going to fall for this, he has completely underestimated North Carolinians – and the rest of the nation.”
UPDATE IV: Lambda Legal snorts.
“The devastating blow of HB 2 will not be fixed by the band-aid of an executive order. While this is an improvement for the state employees it impacts, HB 2’s reach goes far beyond what the executive order addresses and that’s why we are challenging this extreme and discriminatory measure—in order to ensure that everyone who lives in and visits North Carolina is protected under the law.
“HB 2 is an attack on fairness in employment, education, and local governance that encourages discrimination against thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home, and it particularly targets transgender people.
“This lawsuit is crucial for the entire LGBT community in North Carolina because partial measures, like this executive order, are unacceptable to us, to LGBT North Carolinians, and to others around the country anxious to see an end to these dangerous displays of intolerance.
“Lambda Legal is again calling on North Carolina’s leadership to do right by our community and repeal HB 2 and replace it with full non-discrimination protections for all LGBT people.”