The collapse of a plan to repeal House Bill 2 in the state legislature has provoked as divisive responses nationally as it has in North Carolina.
On Wednesday, after hours of hours of discussions, the GOP-led legislature adjourned a special session without overturning HB2; the Senate voted down a repeal while the House did not vote on one. The so-called “bathroom bill” overturned a Charlotte ordinance allowed transgender people to use public restrooms of the gender with which they identify.
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Franklin Graham’s take
Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, tweeted his praise for Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and legislators “for protecting women & children from pedophiles & sexual perverts.”
In a longer statement on Facebook, Graham said “It should be obvious to everyone—we don’t need men in women’s bathrooms and locker rooms in NC or in any state. ...Pray for the politicians and legislators fighting this battle for privacy and protection. No matter where you live, let them know in the comments below that you support them.”
The Facebook post had 20,000 “likes,” “loves” and “wow” after just two hours. But some on social media took aim at Graham’s comments.
One person called it “base feat-mongering at its finest.” Another said Graham was “using the teachings of Christ to promote bigotry.”
And @CLTSCGirl tweeted, “If only lawmakers could protect us from Franklin Graham.”
Condemning the legislature
The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, which are challenging the law in federal court, condemned the state legislature for not repealing HB2. In a statement, the groups said “the Legislature failed to follow through on their promise, despite the deep and widespread opposition and outrage over the discriminatory nature of the law.
“This was a counterproductive exercise in reaffirming to the rest of the country that North Carolina wants to remain mired in this divisive dispute.”
‘Charlotte’s double dealing’
Conservative website redstate.com blamed Charlotte and other “liberal cities” for the collapse of the deal.
It noted that Republicans were still seeking to repeal the law but seeking additional safeguards “due not only to Charlotte’s double dealing, but council members from Durham and other liberal cities openly proclaiming their intentions to fling open their bathrooms, once HB2 was repealed.”
IBM weighs in
IBM tweeted its response to the deal’s collapse near an image of a rainbow flag:
“Very disappointing that NC General Assembly failed to repeal discriminatory, damaging #HB2 - a law that has no place in the 21st Century.”
Elsewhere on Twitter, reaction was as divided as anywhere:
George Takei, Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu, urged a continuation of a boycott of the state: The North Carolina assembly has refused to repeal HB2, despite the clear rejection of this hateful anti-LGBT law by the voters. #BoycottNC
Someone using the handle “IL Conservative” stated: Whether HB2 is repealed or not, we won because Charlotte repealed their ordinance. That was the goal.
And “Monkey Business” took this perspective: Democratic legislators are Charlie Brown and Republican legislators are Lucy. #HB2 repeal was the football.
The Huffington Post’s homepage led with this headline Thursday morning: “NC DEBACLE! REPEAL OF ANTI-LGBTQ BILL CRUMBLES”