Governor Pat McCrory has defended North Carolina’s reviled anti-LGBT “bathroom law”, despite the economic and social damage it’s causing to his state.
During a debate on Tuesday between McCrory and his gubernatorial election opponent, state Attorney General Roy Cooper, the governor claimed that liberals were trying to impose “a brand new concept of gender identity and gender expression ― a major change in culture”.
In response to a question about transgender Olypmic veteran and reality star Caytlin Jenner, McCrory said that she would have to comply with the HB2 law, which forces transgender people in state schools and buildings to use restrooms and other facilities inconsistent with their gender identity.
“In the private sector in North Carolina, she can go wherever the private sector wants her to because we don’t want to be in the private business of the private sector,” McCrory said. “If she’s going to a shower facility at [the University of North Carolina] after running around the track, she’s going to use the men’s shower.”
Cooper, who supports repealing the law, said that, “It writes discrimination into our law and it has been a disaster for our economy.”
The HB2 law was enacted in March and, in addition to legislating bathroom use, removes municipal LGBT non-discrimination protections and prevents similar protections from being passed in the future. This means that a private business can refuse service to any person based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in the state.
North Carolina is facing massive economic damage as a result of the law. It has been boycotted by major corporations and film studios, which have stopped investments or cancelled events in the state because of the law’s threat to employees and consumers. Artists such as Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and Pearl Jam have also called off their shows in the state in protest.