The state of North Carolina has been in the spotlight when it comes to not allowing members of the LGBT community to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
The back and forth between the state's legislature and former governor on one side and proponents of the LGBT community on the other seems to have come to an end. North Carolina's current governor, Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC), signed an executive order on Thursday that forces businesses to allow men and women to choose whichever bathroom they prefer.
North Carolina's former Republican governor, Pat McCrory, prevented the transgender bathroom policy from moving forward and received backlash from politicians on the Left, celebrities and musicians stating they would not perform in the state, and sports organizations like the NBA.
While the executive order is now in effect, conservative and religious groups are pushing back against the measure. At the same time, members of the LGBT community are still not happy with Gov. Cooper as they do not believe the executive order goes far enough.
Earlier this year Gov. Cooper signed HB 142 into law. HB 142 was meant to weaken the HB 2 legislation that was signed into law by former Gov. McCrory. Initially, HB 142 kept the provision that stated men and women could only use showers and bathrooms that aligned with the sex that was found on their birth certificate. The executive order has now removed that provision but does not repeal HB 2 entirely, which the LGBT community wants to see.
According to the executive order, Gov. Cooper justifies his action by citing Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in 2015. Cooper says federal courts have ruled that discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation is prohibited and, therefore, preventing people from using what bathroom they want violates their rights.
The majority of federal courts that have addressed the issue to date have held that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is unlawful. It is necessary to provide state and local government actors with clarity and guidance regarding existing laws and policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
The NC Values Coalition (NCVC), "a non-partisan, statewide grassroots network of North Carolinians who support and advocate for pro-family positions," states that this order is forcing Christians and business owners that want a contract with the government to compromise on their faith if they want to receive government benefits.
According to One News Now, NCVC went so far as to say, "Bathroom privacy and safety are sacrificed under Roy Cooper's bathroom plan, which is more akin to Harvey Weinstein's bathroom plan."
In a statement released by NCVC, Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald promises that North Carolina voters will hold the governor and attorney general responsible.
The Governor's and Attorney General's actions today constitute a massive power grab, with sweeping changes that only the Legislative Branch has the authority to enact. After signing into law earlier this year HB 142, which kept in place longstanding laws that required that showers and bathrooms be used in accordance with one's sex on their birth certificate, Governor Cooper has betrayed the people of North Carolina with an Executive Order that not only allows boys and men into girls' and women's showers and bathrooms, but also forces private businesses to adopt sweeping LGBT special rights. Josh Stein has betrayed the people of NC by failing to defend the laws of the state and, instead, elevating LGBT privileges above the rights of common everyday people to privacy and safety in Bathrooms and showers. It is despicable, and the voters of NC will hold these two accountable.
Well-respected Christian Evangelist Franklin Graham took to Facebook to voice his opposition to the governor's executive order as well.