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McCrory feuds with gay rights group Human Rights Campaign

Gov. Pat McCrory touched on a lot of topics, including HB2, as he spoke to the Rotary at the Fairfield Inn in uptown Charlotte Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016.
Gov. Pat McCrory touched on a lot of topics, including HB2, as he spoke to the Rotary at the Fairfield Inn in uptown Charlotte Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

Officials of the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign disputed Gov. Pat McCrory’s description of a meeting with them about House Bill 2 earlier this year.

Speaking to the Charlotte Rotary Tuesday, the governor said HRC President Chad Griffin had promised to make North Carolina an example.

“He said, Governor, I’m going to make North Carolina the epicenter of the transgender bathroom movement in the United States of America,” McCrory recounted. “And once I finish with North Carolina, I’m going to move to all the states of the United States.”

McCrory also said Griffin told him, “We’re going after you.”

In a statement, Griffin and two other LGBT leaders who attended the meeting said McCrory “has continued to falsely characterize our conversation.”

“North Carolinians deserve better,” they said. “We told the governor that if he didn’t fix the disaster he created, that he alone would be responsible for tarnishing the reputation of the state and killing jobs.… Speaking to the Rotary Club … Gov. McCrory offered an entirely fictional account of the meeting and HRC President Chad Griffin’s remarks.”

Thomas Stith, McCrory’s chief of staff, was in the meeting with Griffin and the governor.

“Chad Griffin did say he would make North Carolina a battleground state and that he was already bringing several teams to organize within North Carolina,” Stith said. “He said that North Carolina would be forced to change because of the pressure applied to our state and those teams would be used in other states as well. …

“It is extremely offensive as an African-American to compare the long history of struggle, abuse and discrimination we have faced and compare allowing men to use the same showers, locker rooms and restrooms as women to our struggle for justice. … What I heard from Chad Griffin that day was a sophisticated shake down.”

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