Let’s give Rep. Chuck McGrady the benefit of the doubt: He thinks HB2 is bad for North Carolina and wants it repealed. He is earnestly trying to move the debate forward and is not trying to secretly keep its provisions in place with the bill he unveiled late Wednesday.
“It’s certainly the best starting point we’ve had up till now,” he said. Maybe so, but it wouldn’t be the best ending point. Legislators need to make crucial changes for it to be an effective compromise.
Opinions are flying about McGrady’s bill, but these are facts:
▪ It provides no protections for LGBT citizens.
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▪ It bans cities from passing “bathroom” provisions of any kind.
▪ It allows cities to pass LGBT protections (minus bathrooms), with 30 days notice, but such ordinances would then be put to a public vote if opponents round up enough signatures.
▪ It expands protected classes for employment and housing discrimination, but that expansion does not include LGBT citizens.
In summary, if this bill becomes law, LGBT discrimination will be legal. People who look like men would be required to use the women’s room. And LGBT minority rights will be at the mercy of a majority vote. Basic human rights should not be up for a vote.
That’s why we doubt it would bring back the NCAA, the ACC, the NBA and others who are crossing the state off their lists. Those organizations have said they don’t want to do business in a state that sanctions LGBT discrimination. North Carolina still would.
It’s good that McGrady would ban discrimination against veterans, pregnant women and others, as federal law does.
Ultimately, though, his bill does nothing to prevent discrimination against LGBT residents and visitors. So while it might be the start of a true repeal of HB2, it has a ways to go to be a compromise that North Carolina can in good conscience embrace.