Berger rejects Cooper’s efforts to remove dark stain of HB2

| February 17, 2017

Chris Fitzsimon newby Chris Fitzsimon, NC Policy Watch and NC SPIN panelist, February 15, 2017.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and other Republican leaders have spent the last few days desperately distorting the facts and rewriting history to try to blame Governor Roy Cooper for the disaster of HB2 that was passed by the GOP supermajority in the House and Senate and signed into law by former Governor Pat McCrory last March.

There is a good reason for their renewed desperation to shift the blame away from themselves for the discriminatory law that has already cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs, not to mention demonized a group of people in the state.

The NCAA, which has already pulled several major sporting events out of the state because of HB2, is currently deciding where hundreds of championship events will be held in the next five years.

North Carolina has bids out to host more than a hundred of those events all of which would brings jobs and revenue to local areas. But that won’t will happen if HB2 stays on the books and while the loss of sporting events is far from the most troubling impact of the law that targets a specific group of people, it is one of the easiest to understand and quantify.

Berger and his GOP colleagues are scrambling to avoid the blame that is squarely theirs.

Governor Cooper gave them another chance this week to do the right thing for the state with a compromise proposal to repeal the law. Cooper’s plan would repeal HB2, toughen penalties for crimes committed in bathrooms and public facilities and require local governments to give 30-days notice before considering local anti-discrimination ordinances.

Human rights groups in Washington and in Raleigh aren’t thrilled with the idea, preferring instead a simple clean repeal of HB2.

They rightly point out that increasing the penalties for crimes in public bathrooms reinforces the absurd claims that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity somehow puts people at risk which has not been the case in cities across the country that forbid discrimination against LGBTQ people in public facilities.

The groups also aren’t thrilled with singling out nondiscrimination ordinances for a 30-day notice requirement, a valid concern though more public notice in general would be helpful from any public body, including the General Assembly.

And it’s also important to note that Cooper did not include in his compromise a proposal by Democrats in the legislature to add protections for LGBTQ people to the statewide non discrimination law, though he expressed support for the idea.

But the opposition from human rights groups was mild compared to the predictably vitriolic response from Berger, who echoing the rhetoric of President Trump’s criticism of a “so-called judge, called Coopers plan a “so-called compromise” and said people deserve to know if Cooper believes men should be able to go into women’s restrooms.

Berger has no evidence for his offensive fear mongering and he refuses to acknowledge that HB2 is about far more than bathrooms. It prevents local governments from protecting LGBTQ people from being fired or denied services simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

HB2 was never really about public safety. Berger’s rejection of Cooper’s compromise plan with its tougher penalties for crimes in public facilities, an unnecessary as they are, is proof of that.

Berger is merely pandering to his far-right religious base that stands firmly against equal rights for LGBTQ North Carolinians.

There was a deal in December to repeal HB2. Cooper convinced the City of Charlotte to repeal its nondiscrimination ordinance that right-wing lawmakers said prompted them to pass the law in exchange for Berger and Moore promising to repeal HB2 in a special session.

Cooper and Charlotte lived up to their end of the bargain but Berger and Moore did not. They were unable to convince a majority of their Republican members to support the deal they made and the special session adjourned with HB2 still on the books and Berger flailing to blame Cooper for his own failure to live up to his word.

Now two months later with thousands more jobs and millions of more dollars on the line from the NCAA events, Berger is flailing again, trying harder to escape responsibility than to do what’s best for North Carolina.

Governor Roy Cooper called HB2 a dark stain in North Carolina and he is right. It has damaged the reputation of the state around the world and singled out a group of people for discrimination.

With his rejection of Cooper’s latest compromise to begin to repair that damage, Berger has confirmed again that HB2 is his law—and his dark stain that continues to hurt us all.

Berger rejects Cooper’s efforts to remove the dark stain of HB2

Category: NC SPIN Perspectives - Opinions from NC Leaders & Organizations

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  1. Norm Kelly says:

    How can you tell the author of this editorial is an arch left-wing zealot? Aside from who the author is, of course. Simple. Misleading information. Distorting the truth to fit arch left-wing zealot spin. Take this one as an example: ‘Berger and his GOP colleagues are scrambling to avoid the blame that is squarely theirs.’
    What’s wrong with this statement? The blame is NOT Republicans. The blame belongs to arch left-wing zealots in Charlotte who not only over-stepped their authority, but implemented an ordinance that solved a problem that didn’t exist. Charlotte took illegal action and the Legislature did the appropriate thing by responding. Of course, the Republican Legislature WARNED Charlotte zealots beforehand that they were overstepping their authority, but typical of lefties, they didn’t care about law. And they like pitting minority groups against the majority. Also typical of lefties, if you mislead enough people often enough soon it starts to be believed. So, arch left-wing zealots and their allies in media such as the N&D in Raleigh spew forth with misinformation and half-truths often on purpose to try to sway public opinion in the wrong direction.
    Then there’s this whopper: ‘Governor Cooper gave them another chance this week to do the right thing for the state with a compromise’. For decades, arch left-wing zealots and media allies have referred to ‘compromise’ when they actually mean ‘Republicans and conservatives capitulate on everything and left-wing zealots get everything’. So, Roy’s compromise consists of Roy getting what he wants and Republicans giving up EVERYTHING. Roy says repeal HB2 and we’ll be kind enough to give you 30 days notice before we implement another illegal ordinance. Of course, when the 30 days is up, there will be nothing the Legislature can do about the illegal activity of lefties, but at least they would be notified. How’s that compromise? It’s not. And Republican leaders, non-lefties, and non-media-allies can see right through another attempt by Roy to hoodwink Republicans.
    ‘Berger is merely pandering to his far-right religious base’. And Roy? He’s working for the majority of citizens? Of course, this could be written about Roy, Demoncrat legislative members, most media allies: “Roy is merely pandering to his alt-left zealot supporters, as is the Charlotte council, to once again divide people instead of uniting people”.
    Once again, mislead, misrepresent often enough in the hopes that ill-informed people will start to believe your misinformation. Is this what’s called fake news? ‘Cooper and Charlotte lived up to their end of the bargain but Berger and Moore did not.’ Except the reason the repeal effort failed is because Republicans in the legislature found out that Charlotte indeed DID NOT live up to their end of the bargain! Charlotte only went half way on their end of the bargain. And it was revealed that other councils were already drafting similar ordinances. So Republicans in the legislature did what was necessary ONCE AGAIN BECAUSE OF arch left-wing zealots! Why is it that if Roy and Charlotte, and other lib councils, are standing firm in their desire to divide citizens, Republicans aren’t given the same benefit and credit for standing on principle? Oh, because Republican principles are opposite of desires of the alt-left! And one thing the alt-left has shown since November is that if you disagree with them, they will use ANY means, including violence, to force you to accept their schemes! The alt-left is also willing to shut down free speech in order to keep those who disagree with them from even expressing themselves.
    Now, 2 months later, with millions of dollars on the line, hard left-wing zealots are refusing to compromise, are refusing to accept ANYTHING from the opposition. Arch left-wing zealots, the alt-left, refuses to see any merit in anything from the opposition. The alt-left, led by Roy, wants total capitulation on every issue the alt-left deems important to their base or that will help divide people. How long before violence breaks out from the ‘large tent’ ‘tolerant’ ‘peaceful’ ‘open minded’ alt-left in our state because of misdeeds by Charlotte and misinformation by left-wing zealots in media?