BREAKING: North Carolina signs executive order adding protections for LGBT people

Posted on 12 Apr 2016 at 2:30pm
McCrory.Pat

UUPDATNorth Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory

UPDATE: Response to McCrory’s decision to issue his executive order “adding protections for LGBT people” has been pouring in, and most folks are calling the governor out for his hypocrisy rather than praising him for the executive order. As an example, here’s what Mara Keisling with National Center for Transgender Equality had to say:

“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.”

And Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Kyle Palazzolo said that his organization will go ahead with plans to sue the state over the discriminatory bill:

“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.”

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed an executive order today adding protections for LGBT people.

 

The move comes after weeks of protests against a bill banning municipalities from passing nondiscrimination ordinances and forcing transgender people from using bathrooms according to their sex ands not gender identity.

Backlash didn’t come from just LGBT groups, however. Businesses like PayPal also nixed expansion plans in the state. Many governors and mayors from around the country also banned all non-essential, taxpayer-funded travel there as well.

According to a press release, Executive Order 90:

• Maintains common sense gender-specific restroom and locker room facilities in government buildings and schools

• Affirms the private sector’s right to establish its own restroom and locker room policies

• Affirms the private sector and local governments’ right to establish non-discrimination employment policies for its own employees

• Expands the state’s employment policy for state employees to cover sexual orientation and gender identity

• Seeks legislation to reinstate the right to sue in state court for discrimination

North Carolina is now one of 24 states that have protections for sexual orientation and gender identity for its employees.

But Sarah Preston, acting executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina, said the executive order is a poor effort at saving face.

“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,” Preston said in a statement. “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.”

In a video, McCrory stated his opposition to an ordinance recently passed by the Charlotte City Council protecting the LGBT community from discrimination and harassment. He called it “a new mandate that forced on businesses a city-wide ordinance of bathroom and locker room regulations.”

But, McCrory said, “after listening to people’s feedback for the past several weeks on this issue, I have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion, a lot of passion and frankly, selective outrage and hypocrisy, especially against the great state of North Carolina.

“Based upon this feedback, I am taking action to affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality.”

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