Loading...
I have been watching the commercials for the third district race and found it to be a down-to-the-wire-event. We have...

State Republicans cast lot with pride and prejudice

070616Ed_HB2Pic1
1 of 2

This May 11, 2014 photo shows an "All Gender Restroom" sign outside a bathroom in a bar in Washington. Confrontations have flared across the country over whether to protect or curtail the right of transgender people to use public restrooms in accordance with their gender identity. (AP Photo)

070616Ed_HB2Pic2
Loading…

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The negative consequences of North Carolina’s legislative declaration that the LGBT community is unwelcome in this state, known internationally now as HB2, were completely predictable. The law, slated to receive Gov. Pat McCrory’s signed blessing, is destined to become a step-by-step tutorial on the downward effects of using public fear and prejudice as working tools in matters of social importance.

The federal courts should ultimately determine — as history compels — that this reactionary anti-civil rights legislation is openly discriminatory and unconstitutional. But by then, the economic impact will have become visible and the damage to its national and worldwide reputation could take another decade to overcome.

This law was nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction, drawing on dark fundamentalist principles of bigotry and intolerance. The final version that awaits McCrory’s signature remains as discriminatory and intolerable as the first draft, despite a weak attempt to create an illusion of compromise. Throughout this process, the governor has drawn on overworn and stale political tactics, using stock phrases like “common-sense legislation” in his inconcealable appeal to the darker angels of human nature.

McCrory fully realizes that the only threat people in the LGBT community pose is to highlight his and others’ fundamentally intolerant interpretation of proper mores and values. There is adequate protection under the law against all forms of sexual assault and predation, whether from straight or, much less likely, from LGBT people. The bigots among the legislative power-wielders already know that the greatest threat of harm flows in the opposite direction from zealots like them.  

The mistake this governor and legislative majority made was to cling to the appeal of old social prejudices over the only truth that matters in the end: All citizens of this state and all states are constitutionally entitled to equal rights and protections.

The disservice done to North Carolina by McCrory’s actions and those of his reactionary General Assembly colleagues is no different than that of their their predecessors decades earlier. They simply have rebranded their inherent intolerance.  

The only real question in play here is how tightly those in power will cling to their strategic blunder and how much political damage they foment if constitutionally forced to behave tolerantly. 

Repeal of HB2 was and is the only acceptable state action. The ultimate responsibility for determining its constitutional authority rests in federal court. How deeply and widely the damage spreads remains to be seen. The governor can still avoid the worst consequences with a veto. 

If Donald Trump does not win in November, Republicans might regret the decision of their leadership to withhold consideration of President Obama’s temperately conservative Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, should this case travel that far.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Editorials

June 10, 2019

As the election results became clear in 2016, financial markets rose amid a surge of economic optimism. That surge continued for two years as Donald Trump and Republicans pursued a pro-growth agenda of tax reform, deregulation and encouraging domestic energy production. But with Democrats now…

June 08, 2019

Keith Cox served the residents of Virginia Beach in the public utilities department for 12 years.

Well-liked by co-workers, he spent his final moments on Friday working to protect them from a gunman in the municipal center — sacrificing his life in the process.

The remembrance of Cox,…

APTOPIX Virginia Beach Shooting-6

June 04, 2019

Give Harry Smith credit for being willing to do his homework and change his mind.

Smith, the usually outspoken and politically conservative chairman of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, emerged from a recent board meeting and told reporters that his thinking about what to do…

Confederate Monuments-5

June 03, 2019

Vice President Mike Pence came to Charlotte this week for a 2020 Republican National Convention kickoff event. The visit was a reminder of the discomfort many feel in this progressive city about the 2020 RNC — an uneasiness so deep that Mayor Vi Lyles said last summer that she wouldn’t…

RNC Charlotte 2020-4

June 01, 2019

A state budget is a spending plan, but the proposal the state Senate’s Republican majority presented Tuesday is better described as an anti-spending plan. It is an unalloyed version of Senate leader Phil Berger’s iron-rule of government: Cut taxes and spend the absolute minimum. If…

State Of The State North Carolina-3

May 28, 2019

Around the turn of the last century, the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie paid to build 1,689 libraries across the United States. Many are still in use, celebrated as monumental works of philanthropy.

They should be seen as monuments to the failure of public policy. The United States could have built…

May 27, 2019

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ community — or perhaps anyone who has lived in North Carolina the past decade — you were probably surprised to learn that Thom Tillis is a “pro-LGBTQ Republican.”

It’s true, according to the American Unity Fund, a conservative gay…

Border Security Tillis-2

May 25, 2019

Want to understand how the tariffs on China work? Don’t take President Donald Trump’s word for it.

Here’s what he’s had to say. We’ll follow with why he’s wrong, who really pays and who really suffers (hint, it’s not China or Trump).

First, from…

China Trade-2

May 21, 2019

Our planet is on life support.

That’s the dire message from a landmark United Nations report that found one million species of plants and animals — out of a total of eight million — are at risk of extinction as the result of human actions.

It’s a message the world dare not…

Trump Giraffes Endangered

May 20, 2019

Kim Strach, the executive director of the state Board of Elections, was doing a good job before she got fired Monday. She’d helped guide the board through the minefield of the 9th Congressional District election fraud scandal. She’d offered strong suggestions to lawmakers about…

Election 2018 North Carolina-6
52 stories in Editorials. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 6
        Next Page»   Last Page»