Governor Pat McCrory's executive order on Tuesday
was intended as a way to walk back the effects of the bill, which have has already caused big hits to local economies
, as well as 650 jobs between planned Deutsche Bank and PayPal expansions
that have been canceled. The problem is that, contrary to various headlines about the executive order
, McCrory's move doesn't actually do anything to change the bill.
The order, which you can read here
, does add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing state employment protections, although as McCrory confirms in yet another video
, transgender employees will still be banned from using the correct bathrooms.
Aside from this one important provision, however, McCrory's order does little. It doesn't reinstate the ability of local governments to create their own jurisdiction-wide nondiscrimination protections; McCrory couldn't do that because he doesn't have that power; only the legislature does, and only a full repeal of HB 2 would change that. When it comes to HB 2, all McCrory's executive order did was formalize the error-riddled press release
he sent out a few weeks ago.
McCrory also says that he'll "immediately seek legislation in the upcoming short session to reinstate the right to sue for discrimination in North Carolina courts," which was taken away in HB 2
. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger's statement
in support of McCrory's executive order, interestingly enough, doesn't mention that part at all.
"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 into law the harmful House Bill 2, which stigmatizes and mandates discrimination against gay and transgender people," said ACLU acting executive director Sarah Preston 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."
Sgro, who was recently appointed to the state House of Representatives, said that while the executive order creates "vital protections" in public employment, it "doubles down on the Governor's support for some of the most problematic provisions of HB 2."
"After weeks of harsh scrutiny directed at him over the sweeping anti-LGBT "Hate Bill 2" that he made law, the Governor responded today by dangling benefits for some, while North Carolina's transgender community, workers, and reputation as a welcoming place to live, travel, and work continue to needlessly suffer," Sgro said.
ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio added his own thoughts: