North Carolina’s House Bill 2—the most heinous anti-transgender law in the country—was on the verge of being repealed today. But after ten hours of debate, and chaotic back-and-forth between lawmakers, the legislature voted against the repeal, leaving state-sanctioned discrimination in tact.
Governor Pat McCrory, who recently lost re-election after doubling down on his support for the disastrous law, had called a special session today for the explicit purpose of discussing repeal. However, even though HB2 has cost the state nearly $600 million dollars in revenue and investments, hundreds of thousands of jobs, and led to countless cancelled events—lawmakers doubled-down on their commitment to anti-transgender discrimination.
In addition to effectively banning transgender people from using public restrooms that align with their gender identity, HB2 also bars municipalities from enacting local laws that would protect transgender people from discrimination.
Today’s chaotic scene at the North Carolina Capitol building is just the latest incident in a rising trend of anti-transgender backlash across the country. This backlash has hit our neighbor to the south, Massachusetts, where foes of transgender equality are attempting to repeal the state’s new transgender-inclusive public accommodations law at the ballot box in 2018. It’s also happening in Washington, where lawmakers have inexplicably pre-filed a bill almost identical to North Carolina’s “bathroom bill”—despite the undeniable and dire economic and political consequences wreaked by HB2.
In 2017, New Hampshire has the opportunity to chart a different course. Last month, Rep. Ed Butler of Hart’s Location announced he would introduce a bill early next year to update our state’s current non-discrimination laws to explicitly protect transgender Granite Staters from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations, which includes hospitals, restaurants, stores and other public places.
Passing this bill next year will not only help cement our state’s reputation as a place that values freedom above all—it will also give us a competitive advantage by signaling to the nation we are an open and welcoming place to settle down, start a family, and do business.
Make sure your lawmakers know that a vast majority of Granite Staters firmly reject anti-transgender discrimination—and support legislation to ensure transgender people are fairly and equally protected under state law. Click here to send a message urging them to support transgender non-discrimination legislation.