The fate of North Carolina’s controversial HB2 hangs in the balance of Tuesday’s election. The ‘Bathroom Bill’ is the colloquial, if crude, name for the state’s law that has cost the state at least $630 million in lost business since March, according to FORBES’ estimates. And that number could go even higher.
The law requires citizens to use the public facility that corresponds with their ‘biological’ gender. This edict aligns with the antiquated idea that gender is a binary construct, inherently marginalizing transgender people. The Justice Department has sued the state to overturn the law.
Fans of HB2 are few, yet its defenders are staunch. Governor Pat McCrory has doubled and even tripled down on the embattled legislation while it remains a topic of jest for late night comedians and a source of pain for NC business.
Executives, economists and residents (and relocated Tar Heels like myself) are eager to see if North Carolina will retain incumbent McCrory or if Attorney General Roy Cooper will take office and set the state on a more progressive and inclusive path. Cooper says he would work with the legislature to repeal HB2–an action many have rallied for. The state’s Commerce Secretary doesn’t think he’d be able to overturn it with a majority Republican legislature.
President Obama visited the state yesterday and told rally attendees “the fate of the republic rests on your shoulders.”