Remember that disgusting hate-filled piece of legislation out of North Carolina last year? The one crafted by Republicans at the last hour and rushed into law? The vile, discriminatory bill written in response to a Charlotte, NC Non-Discrimination Ordinance (NDO) which sought to protect the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexual folks, and transgender people?
That repugnant bill, commonly referred to at HB2 (here’s a breakdown of the bill), was signed into law by then Governor (R) Pat McCrory. Opponents of the law touted it as one of the most extreme anti-queer pieces of legislation they’d seen. Supporters of the bill simultaneously frothed at the mouth or tried to find some place to privately masturbate bc they were excited at the thought of sticking it to us. The bill eliminated anti-discrimination protections in place for queers (and we know how much it turns on Republicans to deny queers the right to make use of public businesses without discrimination). It also mandated that in government buildings workers were required to use the restrooms that corresponded to their birth sex.
The resultant backlash was immediate, fierce, and long lasting:
- PayPal decided to not move ahead with a location in NC
- Global German banking institution Deutsche Bank decided not to expand into NC
- the American Institute of Architects moved their conference out of NC
- the Kellogg Foundation cancelled plans to host a conference in NC
- the 2017 NBA All moved their game out of NC
- the NCAA stripped NC of its hosting rights
- Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and many more artists cancelled concert appearances in the state
- Cirque du Soleil cancelled performances
- producer of Wicked will not allow the play to show in NC
- and much more (which can be read here)
As months passed and the 2016 gubernatorial race hurled toward its conclusion, it became apparent to both the knuckle-dragging conservative status quo supporters who supported the bill and the opponents of the bill that the election outcome would determine the future of HB2. After all, despite the tremendous economic fallout HB2 had brought to North Carolina, GOP leadership (including Gov. McCrory), in the state remained firm in their support for bigotry. Meanwhile, Attorney General Roy Cooper, who hoped to unseat McCrory, ran a campaign that opposed HB2. Ultimately, Cooper received on the necessary votes to win the governor’s office. In the end, the economic fallout of HB2, as well as the ridicule and derision the state received for its passage were instrumental in McCrory’s defeat (a defeat he would not accept for weeks bc he was a sole loser). With a Democrat in place as Governor one would think North Carolina’s year of hell might be drawing to a close. To social justice organizations and queer rights groups, it looked as if a reversal of HB2 was imminent.
Sadly, rather than a reversal of HB2, a compromise was reached.
“Compromise”. That’s not quite the word HB2 opponents where hoping for. But it can’t be that bad, right? After all, we have a Democratic Governor in office now. One who opposes anti-queer discrimination. Yeeeeaaah. About that.