The Washington Post said a loss in November by N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory would be watershed moment in LGBT rights at the ballot box. Post writer Dana Milbank wrote it “would be the first case of a prominent official being voted out of office because his anti-gay actions backfired.”
After the N.C. House and Senate both passed HB2, the “bathroom bill,” in less than a day of its introduction, McCrory signed the bill that night. Since then he has defended the law and blamed the state’s subsequent economic woes on the LGBT community and businesses that have limited travel to the state or scaled down business in the state. Human Rights Campaign estimates HB2 has cost the state half a billion dollars so far. The Williams Institute estimated the law could eventually cost the state $5 billion.
Since the bill’s passage, the governor’s favorability rating has plummeted from 54 to 39 percent. In election polls, he trails N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, who opposes HB2, by 4 points.
After years of suffering election defeats, especially in the area of anti-marriage amendments, this would be the first time an elected official was thrown out of office specifically because of his support for and enforcement of an anti-LGBT bill. What’s even more significant is the anti-trans hatred written into the law and the majority of North Carolinians unhappy with the entire law. Only 34 percent believe the law should remain in place.
The New York Times noted that if the courts strike down HB2, it would be the 14th law found unconstitutional since Republicans took control of the N.C. Legislature in 2011.
While Gov. Mike Pence signed an amendment to the Indiana bathroom law as soon as a backlash against his state’s anti-LGBT law threatened business and basketball in his state, McCrory has become more strident. As he’s become more defiant against those opposing HB2. That may be his undoing.