North Carolina Governor McCrory issued an executive order clarifying anti-LGBT HB2 without changing the bathroom restrictions that caused the uproar in the first place. McCrory acknowledged public and private “feedback and suggestions and opinions” about the law. The governor reiterated that employers and other private groups can establish their own restroom and dressing room policies, but public schools and government buildings will still restrict multi-use bathrooms to gender designation on birth certificates.
The so-called “bathroom bill,” or House Bill 2, is fully titled, “An Act to Provide For Single-Sex Multiple Occupancy Bathroom and Changing Facilities in Schools and Public Agencies and to Creat Statewide Consistency in Regulation of Employment and Public Accommodations.” More than 100 tech, sports, entertainment, and hospitality companies have expressed their displeasure, viewing the bill as both discriminatory and bad for business. Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in the state last weekend and his E Street Band referred to HB2 as an “evil virus.”
By expanding the state’s employment discrimination policies for state employees, McCrory stated on his website that North Carolina “is now one of 24 states that have protections for sexual orientation and gender identity for its employees.” He said that he is also going to press for legislation to restore the right to sue for employee discrimination.
McCrory passed the blame for the controversy back to the public. “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,” said Governor McCrory. “Based upon this feedback, I am taking action to affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality.”
North Carolina and Mississippi have both been criticized as discriminatory by employers and entertainers because of bathroom use laws. A proposed anti-LGBT law was vetoed in Georgia after its governor received outraged complaints should the law be enacted. South Carolina and Tennessee have pending laws and those states are getting wide pushback as well.