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Governor Pat McCrory's executive order a 'poor effort,' says ACLU

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory makes an executive order against anti-LGBT law, but it is very limited.
Photo credit:
Huffington Post (from 2013)

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory made an executive order today changing some of the measures provided in the anti-LGBT law, HB 2.  

The order clarifies that LGBT state employees, and only state employees,  will be legally exempt from discriminatory actions, or prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

But some advocacy organizations say it is too little.

Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Kyle Palazzolo said in a statement to SDGLN that Gov. McCrory’s enactment of HB 2 is too broadly damaging to fix with a band-aid of an executive order:

“While this is an improvement for the state employees it impacts,” he said, “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”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is also not happy with Gov. McCrory’s limited order.

North Carolina’s ACLU Acting Executive Director, Sarah Preston, said the Governor’s actions are a poor attempt to save face. She also re-iterates what Lamda Legal conveyed in that the damage of HB 2 has already been done, and what remains written in the law is far more damaging.

“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,” Preston said in a statement.

Preston goes on to say that many politicians, businesses, and faith healers have come out against HB 2, saying that it is bad for business and politically toxic.

Preston adds: “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.”

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the state, saying that HB 2 is a purposeful attempt to make LGBT people second-class citizens and to remove their civil rights.

One of the measures in HB 2 affects the transgender community. The law stipulates that men and women may only use restrooms and public facilities labeled to their biological gender.

The National Center for Transgender Equality’s Executive Director, Mara Keisling says that Gov. McCrory is trying to save his reputation with this new order, but it is still discriminatory, and insulting to North Carolinians intelligence.

“His executive order says that transgender state employees are protected from discrimination, but they still can't use the restroom at work,” she said in a statement to SDGLN. “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.”

The South is becoming the hub of anti-LGBT bills. Tennessee just passed a bill that would allow mental health professionals the right to deny service to clients if the therapist finds the patient to be outside of their “principles.”

That bill awaits Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s (R) signature in order to make it a law.