Amid a firestorm of controversy over the North Carolina religious freedom bill, also called the “bathroom bill,” Governor Pat McCrory addressed the media today in order to “clarify” the controversial law. The controversial bathroom bill has attracted an unprecedented amount of criticism from North Carolina voters, civil rights advocates, celebrities, and businesses – many of whom have pledged to pull out of North Carolina if the bill is not repealed.
Mobile banking giant PayPal even canceled plans for a large expansion in North Carolina after Governor McCrory signed the controversial bathroom bill into law this month. According to NPR News, Governor Pat McCrory has issued an executive order to seek “legislation to reinstate the right to sue in state court for discrimination,” a move that many critics see as too little too late, according to the North Carolina chapter of the ACLU.
“I have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion, a lot of passion and frankly, selective outrage and hypocrisy, especially against the great state of North Carolina,” said Governor Pat McCrory in an address today.
North Carolina governor attempts to reform anti-LGBTQ law, fails miserably: https://t.co/JjB6650vlZ
— Bryan Lowder (@jbryanlowder) April 12, 2016
The North Carolina bathroom bill comes just after rallies were held in the state capitol by both critics and supporters of the controversial “anti-LGBT” bill which places new restrictions on the lives of transgender individuals living in North Carolina. The executive order issued by Governor Pat McCrory would allow individuals living in North Carolina to sue the state for discrimination, when previously discrimination cases needed to be filed in federal court.
“It’s a poor effort to save face, and it falls far short of correcting the damage done,” said Acting Executive Director Sarah Preston of the North Carolina chapter of the ACLU.
As Inquisitr reported previously, just after the controversial bathroom bill was signed into law, the ACLU filed a lawsuit alleging that the religious freedom bill is unconstitutional – a sentiment shared by the North Carolina attorney general, who stated publicly that he does not intend to defend the bathroom bill in court because he too believes that it violates the constitutional rights of North Carolinians.
According to Governor Pat McCrory, Executive Order 93 is intended to allow “common sense” gender-specific restroom and locker room facilities in government buildings and schools, while maintaining that private sector businesses have the right to establish their own policies about whether or not transgender individuals can use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity – rather than the gender printed on their birth certificates.
— Mark Berman (@markberman) April 12, 2016
The executive order also includes language that expands North Carolina’s equal employment opportunity policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under the law. Governor McCrory’s “clarification” of the controversial bathroom bill still doesn’t go far enough for many opponents of the bill, however.
“Governor McCrory’s executive order is a day late and a veto short. The sweeping discrimination law he signed has already cost North Carolina hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue. I’m glad Governor McCrory has finally acknowledged the great damage his legislation has done, but he needs to do much more,” said Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s attorney general, and McCrory’s opponent in this fall’s gubernatorial race.
After McCrory signed the bathroom bill into law, dozens of performers, businesses, and advocacy groups began to boycott the bill, which critics like Cooper claim caused Governor McCrory to backpedal on some of his positions and sign today’s executive order which – according to McCrory – clarifies the bill and includes added protections for LGBT groups and individuals, reports the Charlotte Observer.
Unchanged, however, are the provisions of the bathroom bill which allow business owners to discriminate against LGBT couples on religious grounds.
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]