North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's Wednesday actions appear to be falling short of pleasing anyone. To summarize, there was a proposed settlement in the HB2 lawsuit and the signing of an executive order to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of "race, gender, National Guard or veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity" which was extended to include state contractors.
The NC "Values Coalition" has called the EO a "massive power grab" making "sweeping changes."
The order will allow boys and men into girls' and women's showers and bathrooms and also forces private businesses to adopt sweeping LGBT special rights.
Cooper’s order reaffirms that his cabinet agencies will not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It also states that no department or agency under his supervision will adopt a policy that prohibits or deters someone using a restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
That doesn’t apply to a private business.
It also doesn’t apply to cities or towns, which are prohibited from setting their own regulations about bathrooms after the state repealed HB2 and replaced it with HB142. That means that the city of Charlotte can’t set any rules about bathrooms in either private businesses or its own buildings, like the Convention Center or the Government Center.
It also doesn't apply to schools.
Chris Sgro of Equality NC called the order "incremental progress."
Cathryn Oakley of the Human Rights Campaign in Washington D.C. said her organization wanted Cooper to give teeth behind the order, including consequences if a transgender employee is denied access to their preferred bathroom.
The order also says that contractors doing business with the state must “attest that they will not discriminate, harass or retaliate” and that they have internal policies in place prohibiting discrimination against the protected classes, which include gender identity and sexual orientation.
But the portion referring to contractors and subcontractors is silent with regards to restrooms.
Charlotte issued a statement Thursday that said it is “reviewing its policies in light of the Executive Order issued by Governor Cooper yesterday. The City also remains in compliance with HB 142.”
Roy Cooper made a deal with the business community and the legislature to repeal HB2 and put divisive social issues that North Carolinians are sick of hearing about behind us, and his attempt to resurrect these issues shows he acted in bad faith and lied about wanting to end the focus on HB2.
We trust the court will reject the governor’s latest stunt, which is inconsistent with the deal he negotiated to repeal HB2
--Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland)