Gov. Pat McCrory ‘Clarifies’ North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law With An Executive Order

With all the backlash that North Carolina is getting for that super chill anti-LGBT law the state government passed recently, Gov. Pat McCrory has finally recognized the need for some damage control. But he’s not going to repeal HB2, or anything like that. Instead, he’s going to clear up any confusion around the law with an executive order, as he explains in the video address above.

McCrory has posted a transcript of his address on Medium, in which he says he signed an executive order that clarifies what HB2 actually does, because “there is a great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion, a lot of passion and frankly, selective outrage and hypocrisy, especially against the great state of North Carolina,” in opposition to this law.

So what does the executive order do? In terms of the right for transgender people to use the bathrooms that they want, the order reaffirms that government buildings and schools will maintain “common sense” gender-specific bathroom facilities, but accommodations can be made for families and those with “special circumstances.” The language is pretty vague, but it seems like McCrory is saying that the new rules won’t change for public buildings, but that sometimes there will be exceptions.

Secondly though, he says private businesses can decide bathroom policies for themselves.

Then, in terms of the anti-LGBT discrimination ordinance in Charlotte that HB2 was designed to override, McCrory affirms local governments and private businesses’ rights to determine their own non-discrimination policies (presumably separate from each other). He then expands the state’s equal employment opportunity policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and he promises to push legislation that will allow people to sue if they were discriminated against in state courts.

Honestly, much of McCrory’s language in announcing this “clarifying” order is confusing to parse, but it does seem that he is scaling back HB2’s discriminatory aspects without admitting that that’s what they were designed to do in the first place.