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North Carolina Governor Meets With LGBT Activists


Chad Griffin, Chris Sgro, and Candis Cox-Daniels urged Gov. McCrory to repeal the state's anti-LGBT law.


A group of LGBT activists have met with the governor of North Carolina.

Chad Griffin, Chris Sgro, and Candis Cox-Daniels hand-delivered a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory Thursday demanding that the recently enacted anti-LGBT law be repealed.

In their meeting, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, the executive director of Equality NC, and the trans activist communicated the real-world impact of House Bill 2, which McCrory signed last week.

The legislation struck down LGBT-inclusive municipal antidiscrimination ordinances and prohibits cities from adopting any new ones. It also expressly requires transgender people to use public bathrooms and locker rooms that do not match their gender identity.

Cox-Daniels, a transgender woman of color, spoke from her own experiences about how such legislation affects her life and her community. The activist was almost denied entry into the private meeting, until Griffin and Sgro persuaded McCrory's chief of staff otherwise.

"Despite the fact that he was reluctant to meet with me, I hope that Governor McCrory took to heart my personal story and the very real harm this law is inflicting on North Carolina's transgender community," Cox-Daniels said in an HRC statement. "The people of North Carolina are looking for the governor to show the leadership needed to repeal this appalling law."

The voices of these activists were joined by over 100 business leaders who signed the letter and called for a repeal in the next legislative session.

"In our meeting with Governor McCrory, we made crystal clear that HB 2 is discriminatory, shameful, and needs to be repealed immediately," said Griffin. "We also called on him to continue to meet with LGBT North Carolinians in the days and weeks prior to April's legislative session.

"The question Governor McCrory faces is a simple one: Will he seize this opportunity to show true leadership, or will he allow North Carolina to remain on the wrong side of history?" Griffin asked. "This law is doing extraordinary damage to the state's economic prospects, its reputation, and most importantly, it's LGBT community. The nation is waiting and watching to see which path he will take."

HB 2 has been widely condemned by LGBT and human rights groups, businesses leaders, and presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, with many joining a social media campaign #WeAreNotThis to protest its passing.

The consequences to North Carolina, its economics, and its reputation as an inclusive state are piling up. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit. The entertainment company Lionsgate has relocated a television series. The mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, is asking North Carolina businesses to move to the Windy City in order to avoid controversy.

Even talk show host Seth Meyers took aim at the transphobic legislation, wondering how neither North Carolina nor Georgia, which recently vetoed a so-called religious freedom bill did not learn a lesson from the disastrous blowback of the anti-LGBT legislation passed in Indiana last year.

"We strongly urged the governor to repeal this harmful bill and restore North Carolina's image by working with the General Assembly to pass comprehensive nondiscrimination protections including sexual orientation and gender identity," Sgro said.

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Daniel Reynolds

Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.
Daniel Reynolds is the editor of social media for The Advocate. A native of New Jersey, he writes about entertainment, health, and politics.