One of these states is not like the others

North Carolina:

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) late Wednesday night signed rushed legislation that, as is widely known, eliminates local governments’ ability to pass anti-discrimination measures to protect gay and transgender individuals. But what received less immediate attention was that the new law guts workplace discrimination protections for virtually everyone.

The bill also pre-empts local employment ordinances governing wages, benefits, employee protections and leave policies. It would prevent schools from allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.

The law also prohibits local ordinances regarding child labor.

Basically, assholes like businessman Art Pope used anti-LGBT bigotry to pass anti-worker legislation without a lot of people noticing (or caring–some people value their bigotry more than their welfare).


Gov. Mike Pence made Indiana the second state in the nation to ban abortions sought because the fetus has a disability, signing into law Thursday an expansion of the state’s already restrictive abortion laws.


HRC and Georgia Equality, the statewide LGBT advocacy organization, called on House Leadership and Gov. Nathan Deal to put a stop to the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act of Georgia,” H.B. 757. The bill, which just passed the Georgia Senate by a vote of 38 – 14 goes far beyond protecting the right to practice one’s religion and would instead put LGBT people couples, single parents, and unmarried couples at risk for discrimination.

The dangerous legislation goes far beyond protecting the right of free exercise of one’s religion. While falsely framed as prohibiting the state government from making funding or tax status decisions based on an organization’s views on marriage that are driven by religious belief, in reality it threatens to create a breakdown of state government services, opening the door to discrimination against same-sex couples, their families, and those who love them. Taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies could refuse to place children who are in desperate need of loving and caring homes with LGBT couples. State-funded homeless shelters could turn away unwed couples and their families. Government employees could refuse to file tax forms for same-sex couples or provide state benefits to single mothers.


The battle over transgender rights has flared at the State Capitol as a group of Republican legislators unveiled a proposal Wednesday that would require people to use bathrooms and changing rooms that match their “biological sex.”

Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday decried the legislation, saying that he was “appalled” and that he would veto it if it were to reach his desk. “This is about pandering to their extreme issue,” Dayton said.

He added: “They just keep bashing people for their own political advantage. … They’re wrong on the issue, and they’re wrong on the morality.”

It’s kind of weird. Dayton is an extremely wealthy businessman, and once upon a time he would have been stereotyped right into the Republican party. But he’s a Democrat, and he’s also got all these liberal, progressive views and doesn’t think his position of power should be used stomp on the poor and give more advantages to his wealthy cronies.


  1. Vivec says

    It takes a lot of optimism to get me through every day, and it seems like it gets harder every day. Fuck this country.

  2. says

    Marvel/Disney said they’d pull any filming done in Georgia if it passed. I’m sure its also a blanket condemnation for *any* state who passes something similar.

    If theres one thing that will make the goppers moral, its losing money.

  3. robro says

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation to stop funding women’s health clinics and impose restrictions on abortions yesterday. I need to go there to see my mother, who is 87 today, but I’m reluctant to go there or the places I would have to fly through: Georgia or Texas.

  4. Scientismist says

    Gov. Mark Dayton (MI):

    They’re wrong on the issue, and they’re wrong on the morality

    Well, yes, of course. But it can seem rather shocking to see one governor come right out and say that about the Republicans in his own state and, by implication, about the decisions being made by his fellow governors. Good for him. Makes one wonder how often Republican governors ever hear someone they can’t easily dismiss tell them that what they are doing is immoral.

  5. says

    a proposal Wednesday that would require people to use bathrooms and changing rooms that match their “biological sex.”

    Yay for small government, hands off, liberty, that kinda thing.

  6. says

    The popular TV show The Walking Dead has threatened to walk out of Georgia if the bill legalizing discrimination is passed.

    San Francisco, as a community, is boycotting North Carolina:

    San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) announced on Friday that all city-funded nonessential travel for employees to North Carolina will be barred after the state enacted a law that erases discrimination protections for the LGBT community. […]“We are standing united as San Franciscans to condemn North Carolina’s new discriminatory law that turns back the clock on protecting the rights of all Americans including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals,” San Francisco’s Lee said in a statement. “I believe strongly that we should be adding more protections to prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in the United States, not taking them away.” […]

    Other businesses and organizations who have spoken out in opposition to the North Carolina bill include:
    National Basketball Association
    Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
    American Airlines
    Dow Chemical

  7. says

    Other businesses and organizations who have spoken out in opposition to the North Carolina bill include:

    Embedded within the scandal is the sub-scandal that it’s corporations’ “opinions” that matter. Not the citizens these ‘representatives’ allegedly serve. Admittedly, some jurisdictions might be hate-filled enough to openly oppose GLBT rights – in which case, let them do so and let the citizens that care do so. I’m a bit on the fence that Apple’s opinion matters more than one citizen in the state’s. But … money talks.

  8. unclefrogy says

    @9 brings up an interesting issue corporate power , influence and citizenship.

    I have not looked up the data but I do know that states and municipalities have given (huge) tax breaks to corporations to locate in their states and cities.
    Corporations understand that their customers come from all of society and in the current climate they need to show that they do act in a nondiscriminatory way . They also understand that they must act in the same way with their employees if they want to attract and maintain a stable and efficient work force. It helps them maintain their good corporate citizen image that is so important the market place.
    So what should a corporation due when the government regardless of any tax benefits makes the climate for running a profitable and successful business (in their view) more difficult?
    It does seem that the values of liberal democracy coincide nicely with an expanded and expanding marketplace in promoting the free exchange of goods and services as well or along with the free exchange of ideas that are it’s foundation .
    Unlike the discriminatory and severely constrained climate that comes along with Theocratic governments that is being put in practice by the religious right with these and other kinds of laws.
    uncle frogy

  9. gijoel says

    Politics these days seems to be run by the petty, vindictiveness of entitled WASPs .

  10. says

    grandolddeity @ 10:

    NC should feel ashamed. .

    Americans should feel ashamed. If they did, this shit would not be happening.

  11. says

    So what should a corporation due when the government regardless of any tax benefits makes the climate for running a profitable and successful business (in their view) more difficult?

    I suppose those companies could try sponsoring some “get out the vote” mobiles or sponsoring legal challenges to the hate legislation.

    But if a corporation decides they are going to influence the people of a state’s affairs by stepping outside of the democratic process(*) they’re doing the same thing Hobby Lobby did. There are probably anti-gay haters at some of those corporations, who now have to watch their employer superceed their personal political influence because their employer has more money. The reason Hobby Lobby and Chick Fil A leave a bad taste in my mouth is because the corporations are trumping their employees’ social rights, or trying to.

    The whole situation is (in case anyone needed one) a good illustration of why “representative democracy” is usually a lie that papers over a plutocracy.

    (* which is largely a fiction…)

  12. stwriley says

    Two things everyone should know about the NC law and our general situation here:

    1) This isn’t NC in general. We’re a “purple” state at the worst, with a lot of liberal/progressive people who are appalled by our Republican legislature and Governor. The problem is that they managed to capture all the branches of government back in 2010 during the mid-term reaction to Obama, just in time for redistricting. Now we’re fighting against one of the worst gerrymanders in the entire nation, where even though Democratic candidates get far more votes at all levels statewide, we still have significant GOP majorities in both the Legislature and our House delegation. It’s being fought over in court (with the Federal courts now having struck down the House gerrymander, at least) but we’re still stuck with a radical, right-wing legislature that doesn’t represent the majority of North Carolinians and feels safe in their gerrymandered districts doing terrible things like passing HB2. Believe me, we’re working as hard as we can to get rid of these clowns, but it’s going to take a while.

    2) HB2 has another element that PZ overlooked when it comes to its discriminatory, business-friendly nature. It did set some classes of people into law as having theoretical protection against job and public accommodations discrimination (i.e, race, religion, “biological sex”, etc.) but it also eliminated their ability to sue in state courts to receive redress for violations of those rights. So, while it claims to extend protections to at least some citizens, it actually removes any state-level possibility of enforcing those protections. Now the only recourse for someone whose boss fires them because they’re black, or Jewish, or female, or whatever is to sue in Federal court, where the statutes of limitation are very short (6 months, as opposed to the 3 years we had under state law) and filing suit is much more expensive to boot. It’s an additional barrier to anyone making a discrimination claim, no matter the basis.

    As a recent transplant to NC, I’ve felt very welcome where I live (Durham, in the incredibly liberal Research Triangle) but have been appalled at the backwardness of my new state government. I say that as someone who came from Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) where we had a similar problem, but nowhere near as bad as we have here. It’s just made me more of a political activist than I already was and determined to do whatever I can to kick out the yahoos currently occupying Raleigh.

  13. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Suit already filed in federal court against the NC law.

    Opponents of a new North Carolina law blocking local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules and requiring transgender students to use bathrooms assigned to their biological sex wasted little time challenging the measure, filing a federal lawsuit Monday morning.
    Two transgender people, a law school professor and civil liberties groups filed the lawsuit. They want the new law to be declared unconstitutional, and they want to prevent its enforcement.
    The American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal and Equality North Carolina scheduled a Monday news conference in Raleigh to discuss the lawsuit.

    Fingers crossed.