The End of HB2(?)

Well, Charlotte repealed it’s ordinance that set the whole thing off and the legislature is supposedly going to repeal on Wednesday.  You’ll understand if I say I’ll believe it when I see it, though I do think this will finally happen.

So, with Charlotte repealing it’s ordinance, the legislature ostensibly no longer needs HB2 to protect women and children in bathrooms.  At this point, there was no way the narrow-minded egomaniacs in Raleigh were ever going to back down, so good for Charlotte’s Democratic local government for doing the right thing so that the state can end it’s pariah status.  Sure, this may be backing down on transgender rights, to a degree, but the Charlotte ordinance was unenforceable under HB2.  Here’s my analogy.  The bully has his knee on your back, there’s no adults around, and he demands “say I’m the greatest.”  Well, damnit, you just say “you’re the greatest” and get on with your life.  Nobody really thinks you think the bully is great.  And nobody thinks Charlotte doesn’t want to protect LGBT people.

The simple fact is the legislature pretty much has all the power here.  The only countervailing power was that of sports and entertainment boycotts and companies not moving jobs here.  And that didn’t work.  The bully doesn’t care that everybody hates him and thinks he’s a jerk.  He just wants you to say, “you’re the greatest.”  So you do it.  That’s what Charlotte did here.

It’s important to note that while the focus was on bathrooms, a far more insidious effect of the law was basically to implicitly legalize discrimination against gay people.  That goes away now.

Gotta love the Republican comments on this, though:

“Today Roy Cooper and Jennifer Roberts proved what we said was the case all along: their efforts to force men into women’s bathrooms and shower facilities was a political stunt to drive out-of-state money into the governor’s race,” the Republican leaders said. “For months, we’ve said if Charlotte would repeal its bathroom ordinance that created the problem, we would take up the repeal of HB2.”

Seriously?  Pathetic till the end.  But again, there was no way these guys were going to do anything about this law as long as the Charlotte ordinance was on the books.  Heck, in their tiny little minds, they may actually believe that this is about “forcing men into women’s bathrooms and showers.”

So, my take…  Damn good to have this behind us.  The long-term damage to North Carolina’s reputation is going to persist and take quite a while to undo.  At least over that period, I’ll be enjoying opportunities for the best that sports and entertainment has to offer and many hard-working North Carolinians will no longer have to take a direct economic hit.   Of course, the bullies in the legislature may just be looking for another opportunity to get their knee in our collective back.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to The End of HB2(?)

  1. ohwilleke says:

    “The long-term damage to North Carolina’s reputation is going to persist and take quite a while to undo.”

    Given the circumstances of the repeal, I’m not sure that repeal in this manner will even undo the any of the damage or restore jobs, entertainment or sports to NC. It is like an insincere apology that can be withdrawn at any time. Between this and Trump, the pending SCOTUS litigation may be moot before SCOTUS reaches the merits which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing given whomever the next Trump appointee to the Court will be.

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