North Carolina has until Monday to repeal or lose millions

McCrory

Gov. Pat McCrory

Department of Justice determines North Carolina’s HB2 violates the Civil Rights Act and Title IX. They want a determination by Monday, May 9.

HB2 is the law that requires transmen to use ladies rooms and transwomen to use a men’s room and stopped a Charlotte nondiscrimination law from going into effect.

Although the legislature passed the law in one day during a special session, the repeal legislation is going to drag through the current session. Leaders in the legislature said they will not meet the Justice Department’s Monday deadline.

In an interview with the Charlotte News & Observer, Gov. Pat McCrory said, “This is no longer just a North Carolina issue.”

He said every state is going to have to comply with a new definition of gender for locker room, shower and bathroom facilities. He called it Washington overreach and blamed Houston’s HERO law on creating the controversy.

The state is in danger of losing millions of federal dollars if it doesn’t repeal the law. Here’s the interview the Charlotte News & Observer did with McCrory:

—  David Taffet

BREAKING: HB2 repeal bill filed

McCrory.Pat

Gov. Pat McCrory

Four North Carolina state representatives have filed a bill to repeal HB2, better known as the North Carolina bathroom law. The four primary sponsors listed on the bill, all Democrats, are Susi Hamilton, Darren Jackson, Graig Meyer and Grier Martin.

In addition to completely repealing the law that requires trans women to use a men’s room and trans men to use a ladies room and blocks cities from having nondiscrimination ordinances, the new law would fund a state Human Rights Commission. The bill retroactively repeals the law. That means Charlotte’s nondiscrimination law, which had recently passed and prompted HB2, would go back into effect.

HB2 passed with little discussion in one day and Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill that evening. State Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat running against McCrory for governor, called the law unconstitutional and said he would not defend the law in court.

Since the law passed, North Carolina has lost millions of dollars in business from canceled conventions and concerts to canceled job expansions in the state.

—  David Taffet

Missouri discrimination bill stalled in committee

MissouriCapitol

Missouri Capitol

A bill that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people in Missouri has stalled in committee, according to the Kansas City Star.

The bill would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot that voters would decide in November.

While the story doesn’t refer to whats’s going on in North Carolina or Mississippi as a result of anti-LGBT discrimination bills passed in those states, boycotts by businesses and entertainers have taken their toll and are making lawmakers in other states wary of going down the same path.

Businesses around the state formed a group called Missouri Competes to denounce discriminatory legislation. In Texas, a group called Texas Competes formed more than a year ago but so far has fewer than 1,000 businesses signed on. Equality Texas President Steve Rudner said earlier this week the goal for Texas Competes is 2,000 businesses before the Texas legislature meets next year.

Missouri Competes kicked off with 100 companies including Google Fiber, Pfizer, MasterCard and Monsanto signing an anti-discrimination pledge.

Amendments to the bill would limit protections to churches and clergy, who are already protected under federal law, and remove religious protections for private companies.

—  David Taffet

Hate gays? Then put a lesbian on the cover of your tourism guide

Robin RobertsMississippi’s new tourism guide is out.

Come visit Mississippi, the state that signed into law a bill to prevent trans people from peeing and to allow religious people to not do business with you.

Hate gays that much? So who do you put on the cover? Your most famous local lesbian.

Lucky for her, she got out.

Oh, and how did the Family Research Council react to Paypal withdrawing its plan to expand in North Carolina and add 300 jobs to Charlotte’s economy. They encouraged people to boycott Paypal. Hopefully their followers did just that. No surprise, but to make a donation on FRC’s website, you did it through Paypal.

—  David Taffet

Onward Christian soldiers: Mississippi to let churches arm ‘security’

Mississippi legislature

Mississippi capitol

Mississippi’s legislature has already addressed its education, healthcare, crime and poverty issues by passing a law to encourage LGBT discrimination.

Now, discrimination against church-going Christians, a perennial problem throughout Mississippi, is being tackled by the legislature, according to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger.

The Mississippi Church Protection Act will allow armed security in churches, nullify any federal restrictions and protect from prosecution those acting as church security. If passed, it will allow churches to designate and train members to carry concealed weapons and will then shield them from prosecution if they happen to shoot the wrong folks.

Supporters of the bill fended off amendments that would have forced churches to post that they were protected by armed members.

One Democratic senator asked during the debate, “Where did you go to law school?” challenging the bill’s attempt to put the Mississippi constitution ahead of federal law.

The Senate passed the bill 36-14. It now goes to the House, where a different version of the bill has already been approved.

—  David Taffet

Lambda Legal offers advice for LGBT Mississippians

Governor_Phil_Bryant

Gov. Phil Bryant

The discrimination law Mississippi passed and Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law this week is more draconian than the North Carolina law. There’s also less businesses and people in other states can do.

North Carolina is headquarters for a number of prominent businesses. Bank of America, the country’s largest bank, is based there. Charlotte is American Airline’s largest hub.

But Mississippi? New York’s governor banned official state travel to Mississippi by New York state employees. Nice gesture, but why would anyone from New York be traveling to Tupelo. They’re not. And businesses? Nissan and Ashley Furniture. That’s about it. Nissan manufactures there and Ashley, well, if that’s where you buy your furniture, please return your gay card. A boycott won’t be effective. Number 3: Choctaw Indians. They run casinos across the state. Boycotting Native Americans won’t exactly hurt the bigoted white guys that passed this law.

But for the LGBT community, the new law will cause a number of problems. It allows county clerks to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples without offering alternatives. While no state law protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, this law reinforces companies’ ability to fire at will.

Lambda Legal has come out with some guidance to help the state’s LGBT community navigate the legal waters. They discuss whether you can still get married in the state to what to do if your health-care provider decides to stop providing hormone therapy.

A more helpful approach might have been this:

Step 1: Call U-Haul.

Step 2: Get the hell out of that hell hole.

—  David Taffet

Threats turn real in N.C.

McCrory.Pat

Gov. Pat McCrory

PayPal has announced it will not open a new global operations center in North Carolina because of the state’s new LGBT discrimination law, according to NBC Charlotte-affiliate WCNC.

The company announced plans for the new facility just a few weeks ago. The center was to have been located in Charlotte, which had just passed a nondiscrimination ordinance, and would have employed 400. After that city passed its new law, the legislature met in special session and passed a law that would force trans men to use ladies restrooms and allow any business claiming “deeply held religious beliefs” to fire or refuse to do business with an LGBT person.

A number of companies threatened to withhold business from the state after Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill into law. Cities, states and a number of companies limited or forbade travel to the state.

PayPal has become the first company to withdraw business and jobs from North Carolina.

—  David Taffet

Criticizing candidate for Hitler costume is just being too politically correct

Biedermann

Kyle Biedermann, right

“Defined benefits must go. Way too expensive. But teachers don’t want to hear the truth.”

That’s what Kyle Biedermann, a candidate for the Texas House, wrote on his Facebook page.

Biedermann is running against Rep. Doug Miller (R-New Braunfels), who isn’t conservative enough for the self-described “conservative Christian Republican.”

Yes, that’s the problem in Texas. Teachers throughout the state are overpaid.

“Why do we still have sanctuary cities in Texas?” Biedermann wanted to know.

We don’t.

Oh, and that Nazi uniform he was photographed wearing?

He told the San Antonio Express News that it wasn’t an issue until he entered the campaign and everyone got so politically correct.

“What would be offensive about that photograph?” he wanted to know.

Hey, the costume party was for charity and nothing says giving like Hitler.

—  David Taffet

Dear Gov. McCrory ….

Tammye NashAn open letter to North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory;

Dear Gov. McCrory,

So yesterday, you told NBC News that the nation-wide uproar and backlash over legislation you signed into law last week is just a bunch of “political theater,” a “calculated smear campaign” concocted by the big, bad gay people who are throwing a temper tantrum because they didn’t get their way.

North Carolina’s new law — the one that prohibits transgender people from using appropriate public restrooms and prohibits forward-thinking, equality-leaning local governing entities from enacting ordinances to protect some of their most vulnerable residents — doesn’t discriminate against anyone, you said. It’s just codifying the “norms and etiquette” that have existed for generations, you said.

All these objections, you said, are just “political correctness run amok.”

Well Gov. McCrory, let me tell you something. You are wrong. Plain and simple.

You want to know what’s really run amok there in North Carolina? Bigotry and ignorance.

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory

Of course your damn law discriminates against people! It discriminates against that gay teenager being bullied who had hoped the ordinance recently passed in the city of Charlotte might have offered some protection, or at least, some legal recourse. It discriminates against the lesbian couple were refused an apartment lease because they are lesbians. It discriminates against the gay man refused service in a restaurant because he’s gay.

It discriminates against those people because it tells city governments, county governments that they can’t pass laws to specifically protect those people. It tells the LGBT people in your state they aren’t worthy of equal rights, that they don’t deserve protection.

And as for that bathroom thing …. Seriously Governor, I am surprised bolts of lightning didn’t strike you when you tried to claim that part isn’t discriminatory. And ignorant. That whole “men in women’s bathrooms/men in girls’ locker room showers” argument is such total bullshit.

Your whole argument is based on a bullshit lie. Because we aren’t talking about men in women’s restrooms. We are talking about transgender women — WOMEN, Governor — using women’s restrooms. Oh, and by the way, we’re talking about transgender MEN using men’s restrooms, too. And all your bullshit about protecting women and children from predatory men who dress in women’s clothing just to get into the women’s restrooms is just that — BULLSHIT.

And just so you know, your stupid law won’t stop predators — rapists and pedophiles — from going after women and girls or after men and boys in restrooms. Because people like that DON’T OBEY THE LAW in the first damn place! All your stupid law does do is make criminals out of law-abiding citizens who just need to pee.

Governor, all the calls for boycotts against North Carolina — from individuals, businesses, organizations and even governing entities like the city of San Francisco — that’s not political theater. That’s the rising tide of common sense and fair-mindedness as people stand up for their own rights and the rights of others.

The Rev. Martin Luther King said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” It’s been a long time coming, but the universe truly is bending toward justice for LGBT people. People like you and the other bigots in the North Carolina legislature are fighting against that justice, but we won’t let you win. The “political theater” over your new law is proof of that.

—  Tammye Nash

NC Attorney General won’t defend discrimination law

NC Atty Gen Roy Cooper

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today (Tuesday, March 29) that he won’t defend the state’s new anti-LGBT discrimination law. In addition to invalidating a nondiscrimination ordinance in Charlotte, he said it would invalidate his own office’s nondiscrimination policy.

The state’s governor, Pat McCrory, signed the bill into law on March 24.

Yesterday, Lambda Legal and the ACLU announced a lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality.

McCrory, a Republican, is running for a second term in office this fall. Cooper, a Democrat, is challenging him.

—  David Taffet