Even with the Department of Justice filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against North Carolina for its new transphobic law, Gov. Pat McCrory is standing by the much-maligned House Bill 2.
Not only is McCrory suing the Obama administration to keep the anti-LGBT law alive, but it appears he may also be promoting it to raise money for his reelection campaign.
McCrory's reelection website is selling bumper stickers that read, "It's Just Common Sense — Pat McCrory Governor." While not naming the anti-LGBT law explicitly, the message echoes a common defense of HB 2 frequently employed by the governor in multiple media interviews — and even the federal lawsuit his administration filed.
McCrory and his allies consistently contend that the sweeping anti-LGBT law, which bars transgender people from using restrooms or locker rooms that match their gender identity in public buildings, is a simple question of "common sense." McCrory and the state's Republican leadership have consistently mischaracterized HB 2 as a law intended to prevent "men" from going into "women's restrooms." This transphobic scare tactic has been soundly and repeatedly debunked, and law enforcement officers around the country confirm that trans-inclusive policies in cities, states, and schools do not predicate an increase in harassment or violence in restrooms or locker rooms. Further, there has never been a verified report of a transgender person assaulting a cisgender (nontrans) person in a bathroom in the U.S., nor has there been a confirmed instance of someone "pretending" to be transgender to gain access to sex-segregated spaces for nefarious purposes across the more than 200 localities that currently enforce such inclusive policies.
North Carolina's HB 2 — introduced, passed, and signed into law in less than 12 hours on March 23 — also nullified all local LGBT protections in North Carolina, banned future ones, and made it impossible for individuals to sue for discrimination in state court.
The bumper stickers are available to anyone donating $10 or more to McCrory's reelection campaign. The Republican governor will be facing Roy Cooper — the state's Democratic attorney general and a vocal opponent of HB 2 who has refused to defend it in court — in the November election.