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McCrory Issues Order To Clarify HB2

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Update 4:50

Gov. Pat McCrory issued an executive order Tuesday that he says clarifies House Bill 2 and provides new protections for state employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

McCrory signed HB 2 on March 23 after it passed in a one-day special session of the General Assembly. The law sought to overturn a new anti-discrimination ordinance in Charlotte, but went further, including provisions that exclude LGBT people from protection.

Among other things, the law took away North Carolinians' right to file discrimination lawsuits in state court. In Executive Order 93, the governor said he will ask lawmakers to revise the law to reinstate that right.

The order also expands the state employment policy for state employees to include sexual identity and gender identity. Critics had noted that HB 2 did not specifically include LGBT people.  

McCrory said his order "maintains common-sense gender-specific restrooms and locker rooms" and affirms the private sector's right to establish  its own policies.  

See McCrory's full announcement on his website, http://governor.nc.gov/

In this video, McCrory discusses the contents of this executive order. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOmp6Lf1VTI&feature=youtu.be

The ACLU and three individuals have filed a federal lawsuit to overturn HB 2. In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the ACLU said the governor's order doesn't go far enough. 

“Gov. McCrory’s actions today are a poor effort to save face after his sweeping attacks on the LGBT community, and they fall far short of correcting the damage done when he signed into law the harmful House Bill 2," the ACLU said. "With this executive order, LGBT individuals still lack legal protections from discrimination, and transgender people are still explicitly targeted by being forced to use the wrong restroom."

Republican lawmakers reacted favorably. State Sen. Jeff Tarte (R-Cornelius) voted for HB 2 on March 23, but agreed it could be revised. He said he’s “excited” about the governor’s order.  

“I’m very supportive of the steps he’s taken to hopefully clarify and improve the legislation that will dial down some of the rhetoric and noise,” he said.

Tarte also thinks other lawmakers will go along with the governor’s request to revise the bill. “The initial reactions around the hallway are pretty positive. So I think there’s a tremendous amount of support,” he said.

Rep. Charles Jeter (R-Huntersville) also voted for was absent the day the vote was taken.  He said the governor’s order addresses his main concerns with the bill.

“The first couple of points are obviously affirmations of parts of HB 2, and then there’s a section about extending specific protections to state employees, which I think is perfectly reasonable and acceptable.  And the part where he asks for legislation as far as reinstating the state courts rights is something I certainly agree with,” Jeter said.

WFAE News is working to learn more about what this order means to HB2. Tune to All Things Considered today and check back here for more. 

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