Monday, 5 December 2016

Anti-LGBT Governor Finally Concedes in North Carolina

Anti-LGBT North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has finally conceded defeat, almost a month on from the November 8th election.

Many, especially those in LGBT and forward thinking circles viewed his bid to be re-elected governor as a referendum on a law which limits bathroom rights for transgender individuals.

The measure known as House Bill 2 (or HB2) was signed into state law in March and banned transgender people from using government-run restrooms that match their gender identity.

Furthermore the bill also limits protections for gay and lesbian people, in terms of businesses being allowed to refuse service to LGB people based solely on their sexual orientation.

It appears that McCrory loosing his position, is just one further backlash against the bill, which has been blamed for the loss of millions of dollars to North Carolina's economy, and resulted in some major sporting events boycotting the state.

McCrory will be preceded by Democrat Roy Cooper, who will be the 75th Governor of North Carolina. Cooper declared victory on election night, with a 5,000 vote majority, but until now McCrory has refused to give in, seeking recount after recount, and challenging the validity of votes cast, going down the Trump line of saying ballots cast for Cooper may have been illegal, but just like Trump, had no evidence to support his claims.

But today election data showed Cooper's lead had grown to over 10,000 votes, McCrory had only been entitled to a recount if he trailed by less than 10,000 votes, so he had no choice but to finally concede defeat.

McCrory's concession has been widely welcomed, including by the Human Rights Campaign, who were quick to tweet their joy at the news...

In his victory statement Cooper said "I'm proud to have received the support from so many who believe that we can come together to make a North Carolina that works for everyone" - a statement which will come as welcome news, especially minorities such as LGBT's who have been discriminated against as a result of HB2, and effectively treated like second class citizens.

Though this is a glimmer of light in what has been a very dark time for politics in the United States, with Donald Trump continuing to appoint individuals with anti-LGBT sentiment to his cabinet, you can't help but worry about what will happen when he takes office in January.

Trump has promised not to touch the Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage, but in today's political climate, you've got to wonder if anything can be believed, with any degree of certainty anymore.

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