Governor Pat McCrory’s executive order on Tuesday was intended as a way to walk back the effects of the bill, which have has already caused big hits to local economies, as well as 650 jobs between planned Deutsche Bank and PayPal expansions that have been canceled. The problem is that, contrary to various headlines about the executive order, McCrory’s move doesn’t actually do anything to change the bill.
The order, which you can read here, does add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing state employment protections, although as McCrory confirms in yet another video, transgender employees will still be banned from using the correct bathrooms.
Aside from this one important provision, however, McCrory’s order does little. It doesn’t reinstate the ability of local governments to create their own jurisdiction-wide nondiscrimination protections; McCrory couldn’t do that because he doesn’t have that power; only the legislature does, and only a full repeal of HB 2 would change that. When it comes to HB 2, all McCrory’s executive order did was formalize the error-riddled press release he sent out a few weeks ago.
McCrory also says that he’ll “immediately seek legislation in the upcoming short session to reinstate the right to sue for discrimination in North Carolina courts,” which was taken away in HB 2. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger’s statement in support of McCrory’s executive order, interestingly enough, doesn’t mention that part at all.
Sgro, who was recently appointed to the state House of Representatives, said that while the executive order creates “vital protections” in public employment, it “doubles down on the Governor’s support for some of the most problematic provisions of HB 2.”
“After weeks of harsh scrutiny directed at him over the sweeping anti-LGBT “Hate Bill 2″ that he made law, the Governor responded today by dangling benefits for some, while North Carolina’s transgender community, workers, and reputation as a welcoming place to live, travel, and work continue to needlessly suffer,” Sgro said.
ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio added his own thoughts: