Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC) went on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday to defend the sweeping anti-LGBT law he signed last month. It did not go well for him.
After Charlotte passed an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance, similar to longstanding laws in 18 states and hundreds of localities, the North Carolina’s Republican-controlled state legislature rushed through HB2, a law that blocked all local non-discrimination laws in the state, required transgender citizens to use public agency bathrooms corresponding with “biological sex” as “is stated on a person’s birth certificate,” and pre-empting local laws governing employee rights.
Todd began by highlighting how much the law has already hurt the Tar Heel state economically, noting that 160 companies have called for the law’s repeal. “Bloomberg, Capital One, United Airlines, Williams-Sonoma — that’s just on Friday,” he observed, adding that the law has cost state that at least $39.7 million in lost revenue already. He asked McCrory if he has any regrets about signing the law.
McCrory responded that he would “always call out government overreach,” like Charlotte’s law, blaming “the left” for passing a mandate on “every private sector employer” in the city. He then boasted that while the business community has criticized him, people at “an African American buffet restaurant” in the small city of Hamlet, NC had thanked him protecting them.
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After McCrory said he opposes a statewide law protecting gay and lesbian North Carolinians from employment discrimination because, “I’m not the private sector’s HR director,” Todd noted that similar arguments were made by Barry Goldwater and others to try to defeat the 1964 Civil Rights Act. McCrory dismissed gay and lesbian equality as an “extremely new social norm that has come to our nation,” that requires balancing with privacy.
Todd then pressed McCrory on question of access to bathrooms. “Do you want somebody who identifies as a woman, born on their birth certificate as a man, may look like a woman, going into a men’s bathroom? Is that fair to them?”
McCrory responded that 27 to 29 states “also don’t have this type of mandate on private business” and said that while he did not meet with any transgender people before signing the law, he has “had very positive conversations” with some before and since. He then blasted the Human Rights Campaign (which he called “a very powerful group called the Human Relations… Human Rights Council”) for being “more powerful than the NRA” and for putting too much pressure on North Carolina “instead of having good dialogue.”
Finally, McCrory attacked Hollywood for opposing the bill, arguing that “the new Batman and Robin movie is playing in China, which has anti-gay, terrible, terrible human rights violations.”