Politics & Government

HB2 roundup: McCrory, columnist Kathleen Parker trade ‘Dentyne smiles, lizard eyes’

Kathleen Parker, left, of the Washington Post speaks during the launch of a book by Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, center, on Monday at Sidwell Friends in Washington. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey is at right.
Kathleen Parker, left, of the Washington Post speaks during the launch of a book by Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, center, on Monday at Sidwell Friends in Washington. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey is at right. AP Images for The Humane Society of the United States

The mutual admiration society involving Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has taken another turn, worthy of a good “green room” tale.

Parker on Tuesday night posted a second column criticizing North Carolina’s House Bill 2, saying McCrory should “flush HB2 down the terlet”— borrowing an old Archie Bunker pronunciation.

Parker had written an initial column excoriating North Carolina lawmakers for passing HB2 on April 12, and McCrory responded with a letter to the editors of The Post on April 15, calling Parker part of the “politically correct elite.”

On Sunday, both appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” — and, as Parker tells it in her latest column, had a close encounter beforehand:

“What fun! Before the show, we found ourselves seated just inches apart in makeup. Nothing quite neutralizes tensions like comparing foundation notes. Miraculously, I was able to suppress the transgender quip that was performing cartwheels on the tip of my tongue.

“We chatted in that Southern way — with Dentyne smiles and lizard eyes. Bless his heart.”

Other developments

▪ Target Brands Inc., on its online magazine, A Bullseye View, has posted a policy statement that says that “inclusivity is a core belief at Target.”

It adds: “Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.

“In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways. Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.”

The top half of the familiar Target logo at the top of the site is in rainbow colors. ...

▪ The N.C. Democratic Party put up a website Wednesday with a scrolling list of businesses and other organizations that have opposed HB2. It’s at businessesagainsthb2.com.

“More than 400 employers have expressed opposition to HB2 and North Carolina’s economy has already lost tens of millions of dollars thanks to Governor McCrory,” Kimberly Reynolds, executive director of the state party, said in a news release announcing the website.

The site also lets visitors sign a petition calling for the repeal of HB2.

The Keep NC Safe Coalition is keeping its own online tally of businesses that have expressed support for HB2.

▪ Musician Father John Misty (real name Josh Tillman) will go ahead with an April 27 concert at the Fillmore in Charlotte, but will donate the proceeds to Time Out Youth, an LGBT support center in Charlotte.

He made a fiery statement about it to Rolling Stone:

“[If] I thought playing a show for my fans in North Carolina was in any way some tacit endorsement of this fearful, petty, ignorant nonsense, I wouldn’t. I also play states that have oppressive drug laws designed to imprison the disenfranchised, rig elections, deny women their dignity, defend the reckless and insane practice of selling guns and sustain a permanent underclass with hypocritical, opportunist readings of archaic documents written by land-stealers who never intended political privilege to extend past their buddies. ...

“But for me, this show represents a start in investing in the plight of other Americans.”


▪ The Orange County commissioners approved a unanimous resolution Tuesday seeking HB2’s repeal. But concerns that another bill of local interest might lose legislative support gave them pause before they voted 6-1 to join future lawsuits against HB2.

Commissioner Bernadette Pelissier said she opposes HB2 but would cast the lone vote against litigation.

Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough also have passed resolutions calling for repeal. ...

▪ The Wilmington City Council also has called for repeal of HB2, in a meeting Tuesday attended by an overflow crowd of at least 175 people, most of whom supported repeal.

The vote was 6-0, with one member absent, the StarNews reports. ...

▪ The board of directors of the Orange Chatham Association of REALTORS has unanimously approved a resolution calling for the repeal of HB2, saying it is “both harmful to our trade and in direct conflict with our code of ethics. ... As we await this legislation’s demise, we affirm our professional and ethical commitment to equal opportunity for all.”


▪ The Association for Library Service to Children has canceled its 2016 National Institute in Charlotte in September because of HB2. ALSC, in a statement, said the bill “contradicts the core values, purpose, and diversity work of ALSC and undermines civil rights and the fundamental principles upon which libraries are founded.”

ALSC says those registered for the event will get a full refund of registration fees and will be contacted with more information.

On Twitter

▪ David Gergen — senior political analyst at CNN, Harvard professor and former adviser to four presidents, including Republicans Nixon, Ford and Reagan — lent support to some opponents of HB2 with a tweet on Tuesday:

Tammy Grubb contributed to this report.

Frederick: 919-829-8956; Twitter: @Eric_Frederick