Tuesday’s election results present a complicated path forward for the national movement for LGBT equality. But the results in North Carolina sent a clear signal: Anti-transgender discrimination is not a winning platform.
Though he hasn’t yet conceded, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is on the brink of defeat after gaining notoriety as the most openly discriminatory elected official in state legislatures nationwide..
Earlier this year, McCrory signed the infamous HB 2 into law—the first of its kind to allow for explicit discrimination against transgender people by forbidding them from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Despite astronomical business backlash, McCrory went on launched a full-throttled defense of HB 2 in his reelection campaign.
In contrast, his opponent, Attorney General Roy Cooper, made opposition to the law a cornerstone of his campaign and has vowed to make repealing it a top priority when he takes office on January 7, 2017.
The people of the Tar Heel state turned out in record numbers to defeat McCrory and send a strong signal in opposition to the anti-transgender legislation he’s supported from day one. Aside from costing him the election, HB 2 has cost the Tar Heel state $600 million in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs, since McCrory signed it into law in March. The NBA, NCAA and ACC all pulled championship games out of the state, while businesses including PayPal, Deutsche Bank and CoStar scrapped expansions and instead took their business to more tolerant and welcoming states.
This economic exodus has set a precedent for the dire consequences states—including New Hampshire—can face if they target transgender people for discrimination or fail to make progress in ensuring transgender equality. And with McCrory’s defeat, these consequences now include electoral ones for lawmakers who stand in the way.
Freedom New Hampshire hopes that as lawmakers look toward the 2017 legislative session, they heed the lesson voters delivered this week in North Carolina.
Granite Staters have always stood for values like fairness and equal treatment for everyone. And now, they’re looking to elected leaders to work together to make our state a more inclusive and welcoming place to live, work, and do businesses for all people—including transgender Granite Staters.
If you want to join the diverse coalition seeking to build a better understanding of who transgender people are and make the case for their fair and equal treatment, click here to sign the pledge.