Politics & Government

Moral Monday leaders induct lawmakers into ‘Hall of Shame’

The Rev. William Barber, at the podium, speaks to the audience naming area legislators into the Hall of Shame for what organizers say is their 'regressive and extreme' voting history.
The Rev. William Barber, at the podium, speaks to the audience naming area legislators into the Hall of Shame for what organizers say is their 'regressive and extreme' voting history. rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

Critics of the Republican-controlled state legislature gathered Monday night to induct several North Carolina lawmakers into a different kind of hall of fame: the Moral Monday movement’s Hall of Shame.

The Rev. William Barber, president of the N.C. NAACP, joined local and state speakers at the Little Rock AME Zion Church in Charlotte in accusing GOP legislators of violating the Constitution in laws he said restrict voters and discriminate against minority groups.

“The measure of a government is how you treat the least of these,” Barber said. “…Black lives matter, her lives matter, all lives matter.”

The group displayed posters with photos of Mecklenburg state representatives Bill Brawley, Rob Bryan, Charles Jeter, Jacqueline Schaffer, and Sens. Bob Rucho and Jeff Tarte.

Crystal Richardson, director of advocacy at Equality NC, criticized Senate Bill 2, which would allow magistrates to decline to perform marriages for religious reasons. She said the bill would discriminate against not only LGBT individuals.

Gov. Pat McCrory vetoed the bill. On Monday, the Senate voted to override his veto, and the House will vote Wednesday.

She said legislators were wasting taxpayer dollars “to fight something that has already been decided.”

But Ricky Diaz, N.C. GOP spokesman, said members of the Moral Monday movement are pushing a radical agenda that would cost the state $10 billion and increase taxes.

Instead, Diaz said Republicans have their own nomination for the Hall of Shame – Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat who is expected to challenge McCrory in 2016.

“We think that his record of serving the state government since 1986 makes him highly deserving of this honor,” Diaz said.

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