LGBT advocates hand-deliver plea to North Carolina’s Governor… but he only wanted to let the gay guy in
LGBT rights advocates delivered a letter signed by over a hundred business leader to North Carolina’s Governor to protest the state’s anti-LGBT law – but his office tried to make the trans women wait outside.
Last month North Carolina passed a law which voids all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, as well as permitting businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.
McCrory’s decision has attracted a legal challenge as well as a growing boycott of the state – with New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and New York State all cutting formal ties with the state in protest, through a travel ban.
Over a hundred business leaders have signed a letter condemning the law, and urging McCrory to repeal the law.
A group including Human Rights Campaign head Chad Griffin, Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro and transgender North Carolina advocate Candis Cox-Daniels attempted to hand the letter to McCrory personally.
However, in an exchange with an adviser to McCrory, they were informed that only Mr Griffin would be allowed in to see the Governor, and that the rest of the group – comprised mostly of transgender citizens – would have to wait outside.
Mr Griffin was told: “It seems like you’re the spokesperson for the group. If you want to give that personally to the Governor, we wouldn’t have a problem with you doing that… we’ll take you back right now.”
However, the HRC exec stuck to his guns and insisted that he was not able to represent the entire LGBT community – and that the Governor should also meet with the transgender citizens and North Carolina activists who are most affected by the law.
Mr Griffin said: “I would not want to do it alone. With all due respect, I appreciate what you’re saying, but our two colleagues here are two transgender citizens of the state, they’re the ones that are most effective.”
A compromise saw Griffin, Sgro and Cox-Daniels allowed to hand in the letter personally to the governor, while the others waited outside.
Ms Cox-Daniels said: “Despite the fact that he was reluctant to meet with me, I hope that Governor McCrory took to heart my personal story and the very real harm this law is inflicting on North Carolina’s transgender community.
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“The people of North Carolina are looking for the governor to show the leadership needed to repeal this appalling law.”
Mr Griffin said: “In our meeting with Governor McCrory, we made crystal clear that HB 2 is discriminatory, shameful, and needs to be repealed immediately.
“We also called on him to continue to meet with LGBT North Carolinians in the days and weeks prior to April’s legislative session.
“The question Governor McCrory faces is a simple one: will he seize this opportunity to show true leadership, or will he allow North Carolina to remain on the wrong side of history?
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“This law is doing extraordinary damage to the state’s economic prospects, its reputation, and most importantly, it’s LGBT community. The nation is waiting and watching to see which path he will take.”
Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro said: “While we were glad that the Governor agreed to meet with us today to take the first step towards doing the right thing, we reiterated that he must continue to meet with LGBT North Carolinians who are directly affected by the new law.
“We strongly urged the governor to repeal this harmful bill and restore North Carolina’s image by working with the General Assembly to pass comprehensive non-discrimination protections including sexual orientation and gender identity.”