For Immediate Release
The North Carolina Green Party (NCGP) stands with the LGBTQIA+ community in condemning HB2, a sweeping ordinance that pretends to legally assign gender based on the bias and prejudice of the GOP-controlled legislature and governor’s office. In an expansive special session, the legislature pandered to the most regressive elements of the state in an election year to undo Charlotte’s municipal ordinance (and eight other municipal ordinances), highlighting the GOP’s contempt for trans and gender non-conforming citizens, workers, and local control.
“Behind the nonsense of protecting women from supposed predation, the real purpose of the special session was to avoid scrutiny of this odious and amoral bill,” said Stefania Przystanski, NCGP co-chair. The smoke screen of the “bathroom issue,” used to provide grounds for the arrest of queer and trans citizens in schools and government buildings, also disguises the bill’s reach. It strips citizens of rights against discrimination based on gender identity or expression and sexual orientation in employment and housing.
“This is a continuation of institutionalized discrimination. Trans and queer youth are already struggling to survive in our education system. LGBTQ persons already experience higher rates of unemployment, homelessness, and violent assault. The rates are even higher for LGBTQ persons of color,” said Michael Dennis of the Green Party’s Lavender (LGBTQIA+) and Youth Caucuses.
HB2 increases the burden on workers as well. It takes away the right of municipalities to set minimum-wage standards higher than the federal minimum. “Many North Carolinians—especially black and brown women—are already being paid poverty wages,” said Jan Martell, co-chair of the Triangle Greens chapter of the NCGP. “Raleigh has stolen the ability for local governments to provide a living wage for working-class communities.”
Additionally, North Carolina workers will no longer be able to sue employers for discrimination based on age, religion, and disability in state courts. This now must be addressed in more costly federal courts that have drastically shorter windows in which to file (6 months versus 3 years). As a final injustice, municipalities also can no longer regulate child labor.
“The legislature apparently feels it must pander to the ugliest and most hateful segments of society to maintain power. Seizing control from local governments and targeting oppressed populations are demonstrations of their intolerance and, ultimately, inability to govern,” said Wayne Turner, NCGP co-chair.
For more information, please contact:
Wayne Turner (919) 491-3186 or Jan Martell (919) 682-2472