March 30, 2016

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Latest News, North Carolina

McCrory: Man on an Island

McCrory: Man on an Island

With Virginia RFRA veto, NC’s neighboring governors sending a message of non-discrimination

Today, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed an anti-LGBT bill, saying, “We need Virginia to be open and welcoming to everyone.”

With McAuliffe’s veto, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is increasingly isolated in his stance on discrimination bills, after signing House Bill 2, “a bill dubbed the most anti-LGBT law in the U.S.” In the last week, 3 of McCrory’s neighboring governors – McAuliffe (D-VA), Nathan Deal (R-GA) and Bill Haslam (R-TN) have opposed anti-LGBT legislation. 

Companies and tourists looking to do business in states that don’t promote discrimination will have plenty of options outside of North Carolina. Even South Carolina has allowed local non-discrimination ordinances in cities like Columbia and Charleston to stay in effect.  

“Governor McCrory is way out of step with neighboring Democratic and Republican governors on creating an open business environment,” said Jared Leopold, DGA Communications Director. “We applaud Governor McAuliffe for vetoing this bill, and protecting Virginia’s diversity and pro-business climate. Businesses around the country are noticing the stark difference between Governor McCrory and his neighbors in Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee. It’s time for Governor McCrory to undo the damage he’s done to North Carolina’s economy. ”

BACKGROUND

Politico Highlighted Govs. Deal, Daugaard and Haslam for Anti-Discrimination Actions. According to Politico, “In Georgia, under pressure from Disney and the NFL, GOP Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday vetoed a ‘religious liberty’ bill that would have allowed faith-based organizations to deny service or jobs based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In South Dakota, Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill that would have required students to use the bathroom or locker room that corresponded to their biological sex at birth, while a similar bill in Tennessee, to which GOP Gov. Bill Haslam objected, died in committee.” [Politico, 3/29/16]

Washington Post Noted Several GOP Governors Who Recently Walked-Back Discrimination Efforts After Pressure from Business Leaders.According to the Washington Post, “Corporate leaders have found success on a number of fronts. Exactly one year ago, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed into law a controversial religious freedom bill. Then, under pressure from businesses and the NCAA, which was holding the Final Four last year in Indianapolis, he pushed the legislature a week later to pass an amendment in order to clarify that businesses and service providers could not use the legislation as a justification to discriminate based on a client’s sexual orientation. In Arizona, then-Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed a religious liberty bill in 2014 under pressure from the business community. Her move angered social conservatives, but it ensured that the state could continue to host last year’s Super Bowl. In Arkansas, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson refused to sign a religious freedom bill that passed the legislature last year after Walmart publicly opposed it. He later signed a watered-down compromise bill, which basically reiterates existing federal law. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) recently vetoed legislation that would require students to use the bathroom or locker room of their biological sex at birth. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, very much from the business wing of the party, expressed concern about a bill similar to what passed in North Carolina, and has pigeonholed it — at least for now.” [Washington Post, 3/29/16]

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