North Carolina’s House Bill 2 may have cost Charlotte millions of dollars due to lost conventions, concerts and business expansions, but it was good for the N.C. Values Coalition.
The conservative group, which was among the chief advocates of HB2, reported this week that donations were up 1,100 percent this year over 2015. The average amount donated online was $56, it reports.
“Thanks to your support, we've had an incredibly successful year,” said a statement from Tami Fitzgerald, who heads the coalition. “Our work is far from over.”
The group cites thwarting the expected repeal of HB2 this month as its chief accomplishment.
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Coalition officials said they made more than 150,000 calls and emails to stop state officials from repealing HB2, which has prompted international ridicule of North Carolina. Among the most controversial provisions of the law is one forbidding towns from passing laws that give civil rights protections to lesbians and gays.
Fitzgerald also claimed in a statement that her group helped defeat GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers’ bid for re-election to the state’s 2nd Congressional District. Ellmers angered conservative groups after being credited with derailing a pro life bill in 2015. The coalition claims it knocked on 12,217 doors to defeat Ellmers during the primary.
Gov. Pat McCrory’s defeat in his bid for re-election was blamed on his support for HB2. However, Fitzgerald claims he was the victim of a campaign “orchestrated by radical forces outside North Carolina that poured millions of dollars into the state to ‘eviscerate’ our state’s leaders and fundamentally change our state’s values.”
Among the “radical” groups cited specifically for McCrory’s defeat is the Human Rights Campaign.
The Human Rights Campaign and Equality NC were among the high profile groups pushing for HB2’s repeal. However, neither has released a statement about donations that resulted from their work. Emails to those groups were not immediately returned Thursday.
State leaders blamed Charlotte for the passage of HB2, which was created in response to the city’s passage of a policy giving civil rights protections to the LGBT community. The city ordinance had no stipulations regarding restrooms, but was criticized by conservative and religious groups because it would allow transgender people to use the restroom of their gender identity.
Critics, including Fitzgerald, said Charlotte’s law would allow heterosexual men to go into women’s restrooms and commit crimes.
“We continue to encourage our leaders to never sacrifice the privacy, safety, or freedom of young girls by forcing them to use the bathroom, shower, or change clothes with grown men just to satisfy the demands of greedy businesses, immoral sports organizations, or angry mobs,” Fitzgerald said after the repeal of HB2 was defeated this month.