We supported Roy Cooper during his gubernatorial run. Sure, the INDY
endorsing Pat McCrory was never a viable option, but we believed as much in the man running against him as we did in the notion that even one more day of McCrory in the Executive Mansion would spell more disaster for our state.
With that said, the governor made a misstep when he released his "compromise" on HB 2—a three-step plan that would, hooray, bring basketball games back to North Carolina (as if that's really the point)—this morning. The truth is, nothing short of a clean repeal makes sense. Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro told the INDY
as much this morning.
"We don't need to be having additional conversations about potential compromises because the compromise already happened ... in December," he says, referring to Charlotte officials' repeal of the anti-discrimination ordinance that triggered HB 2 in the first place.
"Anything else right now is a distraction."
But it's not just that there is an "anything else." This "anything else," in our view, sends a pretty bad message.
Maybe he didn't mean to (and we would take him at face value if he says he didn't), but in his attempt to reason with the state GOP, by proposing stronger penalties for crimes that occur in bathrooms, Cooper creates a link between members of the transgender community and predatory behavior.
Sgro wouldn't go as far as saying so, but did note that "we all know that trans people are not a public safety risk. It is the trans community that is at risk."
But wait. There's more. Cooper wants the "public and the legislature" to have input on future anti-discrimination policy, so his compromise would also require local governments to give a thirty-day notice before it votes on anti-discrimination ordinances—you know, to make sure the ordinances are "carefully considered."
Sounds an awful lot like the "cooling off period" suggested during the pointless special legislative session held in December
that drew the ire of Democrats who believed, before they were faced with reality, that GOP leaders would make good on their promise of a clean repeal should Charlotte back down.
Cooper seems to think this deal is the answer.
Sorry, governor. Some things are more important than basketball. Sadly, conservatives are using the proposed compromise to again seize an opportunity to trash on transgender men and women.
From the always classy N.C. Values Coalition:
And, of course, Lieutenant Governor Dan "Run Forest Run" Forest couldn't resist: