Attorney General Roy Cooper
North Carolina’s attorney general has been applauded for his refusal to defend his state’s new law targeting the LGBT community.
The controversial law removes existing municipal LGBT non-discrimination protections in the state and prevents similar protections from being passed by cities in the future.
It also forces transgender students in public schools and universities as well as people in state buildings to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity.
According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), “lawmakers passed the legislation in a hurried, single-day session last Wednesday, and Governor Pat McCrory quickly signed it into law in the dead of night.”
The state’s attorney general, Roy Cooper, lashed out at the law, calling it “unconstitutional” and “a national embarrassment” that “will set North Carolina’s economy back if we don’t repeal it”.
He asserted that the “new law provides for broad-based discrimination” and said that he and his office would not defend it in lawsuits brought against the legislation.
Governor McCrory criticised Cooper, insisting that “as the state’s attorney, he can’t select which laws he will defend and which laws are politically expedient to refuse to defend”.
The groups Equality NC and Lambda Legal released a statement applauding Cooper’s stance and agreeing that the law is “incompatible with the state’s constitutional and legal obligations”.
More than 80 leading CEOs and business leaders – from companies such as Apple, Airbnb, Intel, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, Pfizer and Twitter – have also joined the HRC in calling on McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal the law.
“Discrimination is bad for North Carolina, bad for America, and bad for business,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “These business leaders are speaking out because they know this attack on lesbian, gay, bisexual and especially transgender North Carolinians isn’t just morally wrong – it also puts their employees, customers and North Carolina’s economy at risk.”