JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Dec. 5, 2016 —Governor Pat McCrory has conceded after being officially defeated in North Carolina’s gubernatorial election today, after nearly four weeks of vote recount efforts. During that time McCrory mounted a series of increasingly desperate bids to overcome the vote margin held by his challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper, who now leads McCrory by more than 10,000 votes. These challenges included filing complaints in half of the state’s counties on the premise that large-scale voter fraud impacted the election—complaints that were rejected as baseless by Republican-controlled local county election boards and the State Board of Elections.
“The voters of North Carolina voted out Governor Pat McCrory, the most vocal supporter of the discriminatory HB 2 that cost their state economy over a billion dollars as corporations, jobs, conferences and sporting events pulled out of the state,” Dan Merkan, chair, Jacksonville Coalition for Equality. “This clearly demonstrates that equal protection under the law for LGBT people is a non-partisan value shared by the majority of North Carolinians, and Americans for that matter.”
HB2 is the discriminatory law that nullified local ordinances protecting LGBT people from discrimination and made North Carolina the first state in the country to ban transgender people and students from using public restrooms that match their gender identity.
In addition to slashing jobs, tanking revenue streams, and tarnishing North Carolina’s national reputation, HB 2 has cost Pat McCrory reelection. Despite the obvious and dire economic consequences of this ill-conceived effort to codify anti-LGBT discrimination into law, McCrory refused to withdraw his support for HB 2. In fact, he doubled-down, making his support for the law one of his campaign’s primary policy points.
The Jacksonville City Council has the opportunity in 2017 to pass an updated, LGBT-inclusive #JaxHRO that shows Jacksonville rejects the kind of toxic discrimination that has roiled North Carolina. Furthermore, an updated HRO would make our city a more competitive alternative next time the ACC, NCAA or other organization is looking to take its business somewhere that everyone is welcome.