URGENT: Compromise Bill on HB 2 Filed
Please contact your North Carolina House Representative
By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
February 24, 2017
RALEIGH – Wednesday, Rep. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson), filed a bill intended to be a House compromise on HB 2, commonly referred to as the “bathroom law.”
The measure, HB 186 – Repeal HB 2/State Nondiscrimination Policies, includes both Republican and Democratic sponsors Reps. Chuck McGrady (R-Henderson), Ted Davis (R-Wilmington), Marvin Lucas (D-Spring Lake), and Ken Goodman (D-Rockingham). Nineteen legislators have been listed as cosponsors, fourteen are Republicans and five are Democrats. The majority of Republicans listed in support of the bill are from urban or suburban districts.
The response to HB 186 has been negative from both the political Left and the Right.
On the Left, Gov. Roy Cooper expressed his concerns about the proposal, saying, “I am concerned that this legislation as written fails the basic test of restoring our reputation, removing discrimination, and bringing jobs and sports back to North Carolina.”
House Democratic Leader, Darrin Jackson tweeted his opposition to one provision in the bill that allows for a local referendum on nondiscrimination ordinances.
Rep. Grier Martin (D-Raleigh) tweeted, “HB-186 is in no way, shape or form a repeal of the discrimination of HB 2. Don’t believe anyone who tries to say that it is.”
LGBT groups have also voiced their opposition and declare they will not support any proposal unless it is a clean repeal of HB 2.
On the Right, Tami Fitzgerald, with the North Carolina Values Coalition, said in a news release, “Our lawmakers should reject Chuck McGrady’s misguided bill that does nothing to stop cities from passing the same unlawful, coercive ordinances that started this debate in Charlotte and leaves the state without a policy on privacy in bathrooms.”
Fitzgerald added, “Lawmakers should standby HB 2, because it is the only way to ensure that privacy, dignity, and common sense rule in North Carolina.”
Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said that lawmakers supporting the compromise were being foolish. “I suggest HB 2 is the best compromise already – a common sense approach to balancing indispensable rights that must be scrupulously protected by the state with those of the private sector,” he said.
Creech also said he felt that the proposal was demonstrative of what he sees all-too-often by lawmakers on the Right.
“Even good men and women show they lack conviction and stamina. They will fight, but only if it doesn’t cost them too much political capital. The Left, however, are full of passionate intensity. They’ll leave everything on the mat, so to speak. And what happens? The Right gives in to them.” said Creech. “HB 186 is capitulation, and that’s all there is to it.”
The Christian Action League cited the following major concerns with the bill:
- Although bathrooms in the private sector would be preempted under the new legislation, cities would still be allowed to regulate the bathrooms and showers owned or under their control. Even though the measure raises the penalty for crimes committed in bathrooms, it does nothing to protect a citizen’s fundamental right to privacy. Penalties are involved only if a crime is committed.
- The bill expands the categories of nondiscrimination protections to include, citizenship, veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, and disability. Such categories are not currently listed in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only includes race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. HB 2 had listed “biological sex” to clarify that “sex” as a protected category did not mean “gender identity.” But HB 186 removes the word “biological,” making that interpretation possible by a rogue court.
It should also be noted that including “citizenship” among the enumerated protected classes would open the door for illegal aliens to sue their employers who fire them because they are not citizens.
- The bill would allow cities via their town boards and councils to add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes to their nondiscrimination laws, thus exposing business owners who morally object, to oppressive lawsuits, fines, and even possible jail time.
“Sexual orientation” and “Gender identity” are purely subjective and not immutable characteristics, and, therefore, should not be elevated to the same level as “race,” or “national origin,” especially since such classifications always infringe upon religious liberties.
Although the proposal would allow citizens who object to such enumerations to call for a referendum (if they can get 10% of registered voters to sign a petition), it would likely endanger them to the common and extreme forms of bullying and intimidation often used by Leftists, various activists, and politically progressive groups.
- Although the proposed law purports to exclude “Charitable Organizations” and “Religious Institutions” from its effects, the proposal does nothing to protect the religious liberties of individuals who wish to live and work according to their faith at their businesses or on the job.
The proposal leaves church members, individual Christians, exposed as targets of discrimination. This approach is inconsistent with “freedom of religion,” which means one is free to practice their faith anywhere and at all times. But it is more consistent with the erroneous modern day belief in “freedom of worship,” which means you are free to believe, but you are restricted to the practice of your religious convictions within the confines of your church or “religious institution.”
And again, though the proposal would allow for a referendum, the religious liberties of people should never be subjected to a vote of the people. The freedom to practice one’s religion anywhere and at any time is already guaranteed by the North Carolina and U.S. Constitutions.
- The measure undermines the authority of the state under Dillon’s rule, allowing for what will inevitably create a patchwork of nondiscrimination policy where some people are vulnerable in bathrooms and showers in one place, while others in another will be protected. In some cases, people of faith who live in one community will be protected, while others in another part of the state will not.
- The bill would allow Community Colleges and state Universities to set their own nondiscrimination policies, destroying uniformity of law on the matter, and essentially making higher education a separate branch of government.
The newly filed legislation comes on the heels of intense pressure from the NCAA, who is threatening to blacklist the state by pulling its championship tournaments and games. The effect could cost the state millions of dollars in business for several years.
Dr. Creech said, “Only those whose priorities are seriously misguided would believe collegiate sports and any fortune that might come from them are as important as our citizens’ fundamental rights to privacy, dignity, safety, and full religious liberty. There is no amount of money or wealth that can equal these rights. Any compromise of these is essentially the loss of them.”
He added that there is every reason to believe that things on the federal level are now beginning to move in the direction of success for laws like HB 2. Moreover, other states are considering putting laws into place that are similar to HB 2.
HB 186 is expected to be assigned to a committee on Monday. The bill could move quickly next week.
Take Christian Action:
- Stop and pray about this matter. Much is at stake. Ask the Lord to give lawmakers the wisdom to see that HB 186 is not in the best interest of the people of North Carolina and their God-given rights to privacy and full religious liberty. Share the need to pray with your Christian friends, your pastor, your Sunday School class, or your missions group. Political advocacy has its place, but nothing is as effectual as the prayer of a righteous person (James 5:16).
- Contact your lawmaker in the North Carolina House and urge him/her not to capitulate on HB 2. Tell them to please hold the line. Ask them to vote against HB 186 – Repeal HB 2/State Nondiscrimination Policies. Send them an email, then follow-up with a phone call. If you don’t know who represents you in the N.C. House, and if you don’t know their contact information, just go to this link: http://www.ciclt.net/sn/pol/po_districtlookup.aspx?ClientCode=calnc&State=nc&StateName=North%20Carolina
- This is urgent, please act quickly and don’t forget to do the two actions above. If this legislation finds traction, it’s likely to move very fast. So there is no time to waste.