Today, we remember HB2. 🏳️⚧️❤️
Who sold out North Carolinians when it mattered.
On March 23rd, 2016, in a special session of the legislature convened purely for the purpose, Republicans passed House Bill 2, the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act.”
When the vote came to the State Senate, Democrats, lacking the power to stop the bill, collectively walked out in protest. That very evening, Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill. It took a total of 11 hours for HB2 to become law.
HB2 was a nasty, mean-spirited and totally unnecessary punch down at some of our most vulnerable citizens for political gain. It was a “solution” in search of a problem, and motivated purely by the hate and cruelty of its backers. Indeed, its primary sponsor, Dan Bishop, is now a Congressman known even in the Republican caucus for his sneering ugliness.
Beyond its cruelty, however, HB2 was also an economic disaster for North Carolina.
PayPal, DeutscheBank and a host of other companies halted plans to expand and hire in our state. Six states and dozens of cities and counties issued official travel bans. The film industry moved their productions to other states. The NBA moved the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte, and the NCAA stripped North Carolina of hosting rights for seven upcoming tournaments. Eddie Vedder cancelled Pearl Jam’s concerts. It is widely rumored that lingering tensions from the HB2 fiasco played a big part in North Carolina losing its bid to host a major new multi-billion-dollar Apple campus.
The most conservative estimates are that HB2 cost North Carolina thousands of jobs and billions in long-term economic impact. The damage to North Carolina’s economy and reputation was so severe that Republican leaders were forced to fashion a crude compromise repeal which still retained most of its anti-LGBTQ provisions.
Republican leaders punched a big hole in our state’s economy just to make a statement about how much they hate gay, lesbian and transgender people.
That is who they are.
Today, on HB2’s anniversary, we’re proud to stand with the large majority of North Carolinians who opposed HB2 then and still do now.
We won’t forget those who abandoned any principles of decency just to hurt their fellow citizens because it might win them more votes.
Remember HB2, and remember who sold out North Carolina when it mattered.