- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 12, 2016

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday issued a clarification to a law prohibiting people from using the public facilities of the opposite sex, saying he had listened to “feedback” from constituents and was taking action to “affirm and improve the state’s commitment to privacy and equality.”

The executive order does not change the main component of the law concerning public access to facilities, but lets private actors determine how to regulate their own restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms — a move that transgender rights advocates promptly called inadequate.

“After listening to people’s feedback during the last several weeks on this issue, I have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion, passion and, frankly, selective outrage and hypocrisy, especially against the great state of North Carolina,” Mr. McCrory said in a video announcement accompanying the executive order.



“But based on this feedback, I am taking action to affirm the state’s commitment to privacy and equality,” he said.

Mr. McCrory also extended North Carolina anti-discrimination laws to cover employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. The governor said he will also instruct the legislature to revoke a prohibition on suing in state courts over discrimination.

The order came just hours after Deutsche Bank announced it was freezing a plan to create 250 new jobs at a Cary, North Carolina, software development center in response to the legislation. The office currently employees 900 North Carolinians, whom the bank said are not at risk of losing their jobs.


SEE ALSO: Senators pressure NBA to move All-Star Game from North Carolina


The German bank was just the latest blue-chip corporation to voice opposition to the North Carolina law.

More than 130 CEOs, including those from Facebook, Google and Apple, signed a letter to Mr. McCrory saying the law goes against their values and threatens their ability to do business in the state. And PayPal withdrew a plan to build a facility in Charlotte that would have employed 400 North Carolinians in high-skill jobs.

Several celebrities have also spoken out against the law, including singer Bruce Springsteen, who canceled a show scheduled in North Carolina in response to the legislation.

Mr. McCrory said he does not anticipate the revisions will placate some of the law’s opponents, who contend it discriminates against transgender people who want to use public facilities on the basis of gender identity rather than biological sex.

Sarah Preston, who is acting executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, called the executive order a “poor effort to save face for his sweeping attacks on the LGBT community.”

“With this executive order, LGBT individuals still lack legal protections from discrimination, and transgender people are still explicitly targeted and forced to use the wrong restroom,” Ms. Preston said in a press release.


SEE ALSO: XHamster.com porn site blocks North Carolina users over bathroom bill


Sarah Warbelow, legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, called Mr. McCrory’s actions “insufficient.”

“It’s absurd that he’ll protect people from being fired but will prohibit them from using the employee restroom consistent with their gender identity,” Ms. Warbelow said in a press release. “The North Carolina Legislature must act to right this wrong as swiftly as possible. They created this horrendous law, and they need to repeal it.”

• Bradford Richardson can be reached at brichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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