North Carolina Republicans drain $500k from Disaster Relief Fund to defend anti-LGBT law

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North Carolina Republicans have passed a measure to drain $500,000 from the state’s Disaster Relief Fund, to cover legal costs of defending the state’s anti-LGBT law.

The state lost a string of big investment ventures over Governor Pat McCrory’s decision to sign the contentious HB 2 – which voided all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, banned transgender people from using their preferred bathroom, and permits businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.

McCrory continues to insist the anti-trans rules are “common sense”, but the state has faced a string of lawsuits, as LGBT groups believe HB 2 to be a clear violation of the US Constitution.

The prognosis is not good for North Carolina, with a judge demolishing a similar law in Mississippi this week on Constitutional grounds, but the state’s Republican leadership have shamefully drained money from other areas to put towards defending HB 2.

In a vote in the state’s Republican-dominated Senate on Thursday, lawmakers approved a plan to drain $500,00 from a disaster relief fund and channel it directly into the Governor’s office, in order to cover the costs of defending the law in court.

The measure must still pass a vote in the state House – but as demonstrated by HB 2 itself, anti-LGBT Republicans have a large enough majority across the state legislature to pass controversial legislation along party lines.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin attacked the measure.

He said: “There is only one fix for HB 2, and it’s full and total repeal.

“If they choose not to and Gov McCrory and his political cronies run out the clock on this short session, they won’t be able to outrun the voters of this state in November.”

However, a spokesperson for McCrory slammed “Democrats standing with the Human Rights Campaign and other out-of-state liberal interest groups by refusing any compromise”.

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