HB2 Protests Around the State Today – 3/24/16

In an unprecedented move, the NC House made a bill, just filed on 3/23/16, and the NC House and Senate approved this bill on the same day as part of a special session they called themselves, since the Governor refused to call it.

The conservative North Carolina legislators decided to rein in local governments with a bill that prevents cities and counties from passing their own anti-discrimination rules after Charlotte passed a broad anti-discrimination measure that was due to go into effect on April 1, 2016.  But the NCGA House Bill 2 (HB2)  goes much further than blocking Charlotte’s ordinance. Organizations and people are still trying to figure out all of the ramifications of this legislation.  Meanwhile, North Carolinians are shocked and appalled, and really mad!  Of course the bill and the bad process has made national news.  

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“The Republican-controlled General Assembly took action after the city of Charlotte recently approved a broad anti-discrimination measure that allows transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity.”

Protests against HB2 are already organized around the state for today, Mar 24, 2016.  Here are ones in Raleigh, Charlotte and Asheville.

In Raleigh – Equality NC, HRC, and the ACLU of North Carolina will hold a rally in Raleigh! Join us and stand with us against discrimination!
Place: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh at 3313 Wade Ave.
Date: Thursday, Mar 24, 2016
Time: 5:45pm
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1513425065632741/

In Charlotte:  Members of the Charlotte LGBT community will hold a rally in Charlotte. Join us to stand against discrimination!
Place: Charlotte Government Center at 700 E. 4th St.
Date: Thursday, Mar 24, 2016
Time: 5:30pm
More info at: https://www.facebook.com/events/745980615538416/

In Asheville:  Join the Campaign for Southern Equality, Tranzmission, More Light Presbyterians and other LGBT and civil rights groups at this peaceful protest to challenge HB 2 – a discriminatory law that targets and harms the LGBT community across North Carolina – and to call for immediate, full LGBT equality. 
Place: Vance Monument downtown 
Date: Thursday, Mar 24, 2016
Time: 5:00pm
More info at: https://www.facebook.com/events/253184308358870/

As N&O Editorial Board wrote in “NC special session illustrates the flaws of a legislature led by extremists

“Republicans who control the General Assembly went to great lengths – probably beyond even the U.S. Constitution – to secure their majority through gerrymandering. But in walling themselves into power, they overlooked the real threat to their keeping it – their own extremism.”

A “Statement” from Senator Floyd McKissick includes many problems with HB2, passed during a Special Session convened by the NCGA itself for the purpose of passing a bill that would nullify a local ordinance adopted by the City of Charlotte which prohibited discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in the use of public accommodations.

Senator McKissick stated,

“Not only did the bill repeal Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance it also prohibited all local governments in North Carolina from adopting any type of anti-discrimination ordinance and it repealed all ordinances of this type in North Carolina.

“In addition to addressing this issue, the Republican majority in the General Assembly decided to add to the bill additional language which would prevent all local governments in this state from adopting regulations which would allow them to require businesses doing business with those cities or towns from paying a livable wage on contracts for public works.”

“The bill also added language which would prevent a person from bringing a civil lawsuit in state court based upon the violation of a nondiscrimination policy adopted by a local government such as a city or a county.”

Senator McKissick listed other ramifications, and talked about how the bill should have been handled in the regular session (beginning on Apr 25) and following the regular process.  He also stated,

“The legislation proposed today is the most sweeping anti-LGBT bill in America. Even places like Myrtle Beach and Columbia in South Carolina have adopted ordinances similar to the ordinance adopted in Charlotte.”

See Senator McKissick’s full statement.

Rick Glazier, Executive Director of the NC Justice Center and past member of the NC House representing Cumberland County/District 45 since 2003 said

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“Yesterday will go down as a shameful day in North Carolina’s history, as lawmakers prioritized misguided discrimination above the freedoms of our local government, safety of residents, and very decency that until recently has guided our state’s success.”

“In less than 12 hours, the General Assembly’s special session – held without transparency or serious public input – left the state with a bill that assaults the freedom of our communities to govern themselves, and one that will almost certainly damage the state’s economy.”

Each facet of House Bill 2 is more shocking than the next.”

Read more at “Discriminatory HB2 is a shameful, restrictive mark on North Carolina’s history that will hurt our state’s residents and economy .”

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