|“Phobie of the Year” – Former NC Gov. Pat McCrory|
North Carolina thankfully has a new governor as former State Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) was sworn in just after the stroke of midnight last night.
He replaces The Advocates‘ “Phobie of the Year,” now former Gov. Pat McCrory.
Although the competition was tough picking the biggest hater of 2016, McCrory wins the title for his atrocious support and passage of North Carolina’s anti-LGBT “bathroom bill,” HB2.
Here’s how The Advocate frames McCrory’s despicable stance:
Even as jobs left the state and performers canceled concerts and millions piled up in lost revenue, McCrory and Republicans refused to rethink what they passed in House Bill 2.
Lawmakers hadn’t approved a RFRA exactly. Instead, they passed a law banning any locality from including LGBT people in antidiscrimination ordinances. In other words, they wanted to ensure that discrimination against LGBT people remains legal no matter where you go in North Carolina. They also barred transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity in any government building, without citing a single incident caused in North Carolina by letting transgender people use the bathroom of their choice.
McCrory owns responsibility for the law, having called a special session to pass it. But he also sued the Obama administration to make the case that there’s no legal basis for protecting transgender people.
Republicans sided heavily with McCrory, who was just so sure he’d win by demagoguing transgender people that he went on Meet the Press to make the case nationally. The state GOP senatorial committee launched a Stand With McCrory website that was basically a fan site for HB 2. McCrory actually ran a campaign ad touting his transphobia as a major selling point. He invented a story about how liberals supposedly want boys to shower with girls in a TV commercial ironically titled “Common Sense.” He even had transphobic bumper stickers printed up.
“You know, when we were raising average teacher pay, creating new jobs, and cutting taxes, other folks were actually pushing to make our schools allow boys to use the girls’ locker rooms and showers,” said McCrory. “Are we really talking about this? Does the desire to be politically correct outweigh our children’s privacy and safety? Not on my watch.”
And with that, North Carolinians voted him out of office.
Come election night, the folks of North Carolina decided they had seen enough business leave their state over the hateful legislation that McCrory championed.
He didn’t go quietly though. McCrory drew out the certification of the election results for weeks trying to toss the decision to the Republican controlled state legislature.
But to no avail.
Ever the sore loser, McCrory couldn’t help but take potshots at his critics on his way out the door.
He said HB2 likely played a major role in his election defeat, and he blamed the Charlotte City Council – which passed a nondiscrimination ordinance that prompted HB2 – as well as the LGBT advocacy groups that backed economic boycotts of the state. He called it a “manufactured crisis.”
“I wish I would have been successful in convincing Charlotte not to start this masquerade of an issue, that no doubt had an impact on my future election and on North Carolina in a very unfair way,” he says in the video, adding that he was “unsuccessful in convincing the legislature maybe not to overreact.”