Anti HB2 Lobbyists Hold April Rally in Raleigh
Do you remember the big Raleigh press conference on April 25th when a coalition of organizations delivered 185,000 anti HB2 petitions to Governor McCrory’s office? The Human Rights Campaign, The Campaign for Southern Equality, and The ACLU of North Carolina were led by Chris Sgro, the Executive Director of Equality NC and now North Carolina Representative, in a unified effort to demonstrate that North Carolinians were demanding the repeal of the HB2 legislation signed by Governor McCrory one month earlier.
The following day Governor McCrory’s office sent out a message on Twitter revealing two important facts you might have missed if you only read the Charlotte Observer: (1) The anti-HB2 groups delivered 26 boxes containing 185,000+ petitions but a majority of the signators were from out-of-state and (2) most of the boxes delivered were empty. Sgro’s media gimmick was revealed when Governor McCrory’s office tweeted out a picture showing only two stacks of petition signatures instead of the reams of paper Sgro attempted to illustrate at the press conference. In McCrory’s picture the stack of petitions on the left contained names of North Carolina residents opposed to HB2 while the stack on the right contained many more out-of-state signatures. Only two of the 26 boxes stacked in front of the podium and later delivered to the Governor’s office contained petitions; the remaining 24 boxes were empty.
On Friday, the North State Journal released additional information on the anti HB2 petition obtained through the Journal’s public records request. Their audit analysis of the signatures collected by Sgro shows Californians submitted more than five times the number of petitions opposing HB2 than North Carolinians did. Sgro’s gimmicks illustrate that this coalition of anti-conservative, anti-HB2 lobbyists will stop at nothing to achieve their results. In 2015 and 2016, Sgro and others pointed to Charlotte-metro-residents voicing concern over the city’s proposed non-discrimination bathroom ordinance as “out-of-touch” and labeled them as outsiders because many lived outside the city limits in the counties surrounding Charlotte-Mecklenburg; yet this month we learned these same anti hb2 groups imported signatures from across the US and heavily relied one of the most progressive states in America to repeal common sense legislation designed to keep women and children safe in bathrooms, locker rooms and showers.