North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory stood behind the controversial House Bill 2 on Sunday, defending the so-called “bathroom law” that has attracted widespread criticism throughout the country. According to McCrory, cities and states should not be allowed to influence internal policies within private sector businesses to such a degree that certain nondiscrimination ordinances have stipulated.
The law was passed as a response to a Charlotte ordinance that allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with, not necessarily of their biological sex. “That’s government overreach. It’s not government business to tell the private sector what their bathroom, locker room or shower practices should be,” McCrory said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I’m not the private sector’s HR director.”
HB 2 bans cities from passing similar nondiscrimination ordinances and forces people throughout the state to only use bathrooms corresponding to their biological sex. The bill faced a heavy backlash throughout North Carolina and beyond: several large businesses threatened a boycott of the state, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars that would have flowed into the local economy, and a number of high-profile events were canceled in protest of the law.
In response, McCrory authored an executive order that would do away with some measures of the bill, enhancing workplace protections for employees who sue based on sexual orientation and gender identity claims. However, the most controversial part of the bill surrounding bathroom usage was noticeably not addressed.
According to host Chuck Todd, NBC calculated that North Carolina has lost $39.7 million as a result of the bill, while others have placed the potential figure in the billions. McCrory did not address the economic impact, but instead insisted that the bill will increase safety in public spaces by not allowing “a man into a woman’s restroom.”