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

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

North Carolina’s Governor has allowed $500,000 to be drained 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 state’s Republican leadership have shamefully drained money from other areas to put towards defending HB 2, with lawmakers previously approving a plan to drain $500,00 from a disaster relief fund and channel it directly into the Governor’s office to cover the costs of defending the law in court.

Though decried by Democrats, anti-LGBT Republicans had a large enough majority across the state legislature to pass the controversial measure along party lines.

The measure was enacted this week, when Governor McCrory passively allowed it to become law – without signing it himself.

Opponents say the irresponsible move leaves the state at risk, with a $500,000 hole in the Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund.


But McCrory blamed the state’s Democratic Attorney General for refusing to defend the law himself, forcing the Governor’s office to take control.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin previously 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.”