Friday, July 1, 2016

NCGA: Want some air freshener for the outhouse?

Last night several members of the Hickory Humanist Alliance (HHA) and the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council (CVIC) attended a public dialogue on HB2 at Lenoir-Rhyne (LR) University in Hickory. The event was hosted by the Olive Branch Ministry and open to the public. It was a great discussion, but I was disappointed by the low turnout (less than a hundred) given the topic. It was refreshing to hear from a local, open atheist, transgender woman (on the panel), and several speakers talked about the harm religion does to those in the LGBT community.

Meanwhile in Raleigh, the latest news indicates that "North Carolina lawmakers will likely repeal a small piece of House Bill 2 dealing with the right to sue for wrongful termination, but they won't take up a broader rewrite of the controversial measure dealing with LGBT rights, according to [NC House Speaker Tim Moore]." The NBA probably isn't going to be happy, even without the "certificate of sex reassignment surgery" requirement that was part of a draft bill that was leaked earlier this week. The short session of the General Assembly is expected to end in days now, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens. But it looks like Kevin Siers nailed it...

Kevin Siers: The NC bathroom bill fix
Note that we also learned yesterday that the NC Senate has approved giving Governor McCrory half a million dollars from our state's disaster relief fund to defend HB2 in court. Add this to the hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars we've already spent trying to fight gay marriage, defend a magistrates recusal law similar to one in Mississippi that was just ruled unconstitutional, defend unconstitutional doctor-narrated ultrasounds before abortions, and racial gerrymandering.

And so, our state's race to the bottom continues...brought to you by:

Tim Moore, Pat McCrory, Phil Berger
Update: 10:30 pm - The General Assembly just passed HB 169 with limited tort changes to HB2 (restores the right to sue for discrimination in state court) and a repeal of the restriction on pet turtle sales (among a bunch of other "regulatory reductions" - for example, on vehicle emissions in Burke, Cleveland, Robeson, Rutherford, Stanley, Stokes, Surry, and Wilkes counties).

Update: July 2 - Actually, the repeal of onerous restrictions on pet turtle sales, dumping electronics in landfills, and vehicle emission tests (in some counties) - among a bunch of other "regulatory reductions" - were apparently removed from HB 169 late last night. So the HB 2 change is all that was ratified. But don't worry - given our state legislators, I wouldn't be surprised if they revisit these assaults on our freedoms in the next session.

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