HB2

When Republican leaders were running away from HB2, Sen. Dan Bishop turned to one of the world’s worst anti-gay hate groups

In response to a public records request Real Facts NC submitted in May, Sen. Bishop provided records of his communication with lobbyists from Alliance for Defending Freedom. Huffington Post first wrote on Bishop’s contacts with ADF.

ADF is a C3 nonproft that funds legal and legislative work promoting LGBTQ discrimination. The group provided legal defense for a law in Belize that criminalized homosexuality with up to ten years in prison. Not surprisingly, ADF defended NC’s HB2 “bathroom bill” with a video and praised Pat McCrory for supporting the bill. The group also tried to convince NC Registers of Deeds they were allowed to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In 2014 ADF helped write legislation in Arizona that permitted businesses to discriminate against gay customers that sounds similar to a bill they were drafting with Bishop here in 2017.

In March of 2017, Bishop along with former Rep. Skip Stam, NC Values Coalition’s Tami Fitzgerald, and Kellie Fiedorek of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) exchanged emails while working on what appears to be an attempt to add “religious exemptions” language to HB142, the HB2 repeal bill. The language would have allowed NC business owners to discriminate against LGBTQ people. In one email, Bishop referenced an Oskar Schindler quote to clarify he wants to allow as many people as possible to discriminate against LGBTQ North Carolinians.

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LGBTQ North Carolinians remain without equal protection; three bills would change that

As Pride month nears its end, the reality that LGBTQ North Carolinians remain without equal protection under the law comes into stark relief. Pride season invites visibility, empowerment, and celebration. The roots of pride season are grounded in a historical struggle for collective safety and bodily autonomy; today the season calls us to evoke that history and combat ongoing discrimination and violence toward LGBTQ people. Yet without substantial changes to state law, LGBTQ people have no legal recourse to fight discrimination in North Carolina.  

A few months ago, Democratic legislators introduced three bills that would change the legal landscape by codifying protections for LGBTQ North Carolinians that are currently nonexistent. Deemed a “historic slate of legislation,” the three bills (H514, H515, and H516) would expand anti-discrimination laws, fully repeal HB2, and make conversion therapy illegal for minors and disabled adults respectively. All three bills have yet to be heard on the House floor. 

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Senator Dan Bishop (R-Mecklenburg)

Dan Bishop (R- Mecklenburg) is serving his second term in the NC Senate. Prior to joining the NC Senate, Bishop was a representative in the NC House for one term.

Bishop repeatedly voted against making health care more affordable and accessible for North Carolinians.He was the only NC Senator to favor big pharmaceutical companies over North Carolinians and vote against H384, a bill that protected small community pharmacists and kept prescriptions affordable. Bishop, along with other Senate Republicans, chose to amend a school safety bill to include provisions intended to destabilize the Affordable Care Act, once again failing to protect North Carolinians’ health care.

Bishop was a primary sponsor of HB2, demonstrating how little he cares about protecting the LGBTQ+ community in NC. Not only did HB2 fail to protect the LGBTQ+ community, but it also cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars. Bishop was more than willing to prioritize his discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community above the NC economy.

In 2015 Bishop voted to increase taxes on NC families and small business owners, making it more expensive to do business, get a driver’s license, and have a baby. He also voted to cut food stamps for 100,000 North Carolinians. Read more here.

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NCGA Republicans are again forcing their extreme agenda on local governments, this time at the expense of families and on taxpayers’ dime

NC Republicans led by House Speaker Tim Moore want to force North Carolina sheriffs to work with the Trump administration’s immigration agents.House Bill 370 would require sheriffs to “comply with, honor, and fulfill” any requests made by Trump’s immigration agents, including requests to detain people without evidence, and would require sheriffs to allow immigration officers access to local jails or detention facilities. In addition, H370 empowers any individual who believes law enforcement is violating these rules to file legal action in Superior Court. If the court agrees, law enforcement officers could incur increasing fines up to $25k per day. With this bill lawmakers are again trying to supersede the will of the voters in N.C. counties who elected sheriffs on their promises to protect all county residents.

Following a significant organized push from concerned citizens, Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers, Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker, Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead, and Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden, all Black men, promised to stop complying with Trump’s immigration agents under the 287(g) program. This program allows local law enforcement to act as immigration agents—giving them power to surveil and detain people without evidence. Baker, Birkhead, Rogers, and McFadden were all elected for the first time in 2018, defeating opposition who wanted to sign on or expand the program under the Trump administration. Voters in Wake, Mecklenburg, Guilford, and Durham counties said loud and clearly that they wanted all of their neighbors to feel safe and have held these sheriffs accountable to that promise. Since the election, Forsyth County’s new sheriff Bobby Kimbrough also denounced the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

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Rep. Ted Davis tried to block protections for survivors of rape using technicality.

Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) asked legislators to vote no on an amendment to one of his bills meant to clarify ambiguities in NC’s laws covering survivors of sexual assault or rape. The amendment, proposed by Rep. Chaz Beasley (D-Mecklenburg), offered protections for survivors of what the law defines as “date rape.”

I don't believe I have the authority to change the language," Davis said, claiming the amendment was not relevant to the rest of his bill.

After Davis’s request, the majority of Republicans voted against offering legal protections for “date rape” survivors. The amendment passed by two votes, 56-54.

Beasley’s amendment “better protect[s] victims that have been drugged without their knowledge.”

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Top 10 issues at stake when you head to the ballot box

The wait is over- early voting began today.

For the past eight years a Republican supermajority in the North Carolina General Assembly has delivered crushing blows to the health, economic security, and safety of the people in the state. Beginning with then-House Speaker and now North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis’ “Divide and Conquer” approach to the most vulnerable populations in the state, Republican leadership has entrenched an institutional disdain for anyone who is not at the top of the economic ladder.

Here are ten issues at stake in this year’s election to think about when you approach the ballot box! Happy voting!

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Legislator Profile: Senator Joel Ford (D-Mecklenburg)

This installment of Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series focuses on Senator Joel Ford, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County. Ford, a self-proclaimed “recovering entrepreneur” who has bought and sold several businesses, was elected to the NC Senate in 2012 after a brief stint as a political consultant. Ford, formerly a VP of the embattled Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, came in a distant third in Charlotte’s 2017 mayoral election.

Ford took an anti-LGBTQ stance during the HB2 controversy and aftermath, even sponsoring a failed repeal bill based on an indefinite moratorium for nondiscrimination ordinances. During the Charlotte mayoral race, Ford responded to a constituent who expressed concerns about his record on LGBTQ issues with a gif of a dog pooping. Ford’s record of looking out for himself first has been proven time and time again. Read more here.

"We need to be sensitive to religious freedom and respecting individual rights, and that has proven to be difficult because of people who look for tolerance while they themselves are intolerant” – Joel Ford, 3/25/15

(Source: Greensboro News & Record)
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Legislator Profile: Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative Bill Brawley, a Republican from House District 103, first elected to the General Assembly in 2010. Brawley moved to Matthews, N.C. in 1982 and was a Matthews town commissioner from 1989 to 1993. 

Brawley is a real estate broker. As a legislator, he supported bills that favor the real estate business over the public. Read more on Brawley here

Summary:

Brawley proudly supports private school vouchers that siphon money from our public school system

  • He sponsored a bill that lets Matthews-Mint Hill areas create their own charter school districts, a move CMS said would re-segregate Mecklenburg County.
  • Brawley voted for the 2017 Republican budget that Republican budget allocated $45 million to the controversial school voucher program

“I will tell you I’m disappointed in the quality of the education my kids received,” --Brawley said of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. (Charlotte Observer, 1/5/18)

Brawley is a real estate broker. As a legislator, he supported bills that favor the business over people, putting renters and the public at risk.

  • He sponsored a bill to make it more difficult for towns to inspect residential properties for unsafe conditions.
  • Bill Brawley tried to kill rental housing inspection programs designed to hold landlords accountable and dissuade them from renting to people prone to commit crime and keep neighborhoods safer.
  • In what appears to be a conflict of interest, Bill Brawley, a commercial real estate broker, inserted language into a bill “pushed by the N.C. Association of Realtors” to “expand real estate agents’ ability to perform market analyses of properties.”
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Legislator Profile: Scott Stone and Andy Dulin (R-Mecklenburg)

In the next two installments of Real Facts NC's series of legislator profiles we focus on Charlotte-area representatives Scott Stone and Andy Dulin. 

Stone was appointed to the District 105 seat by former Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016 and is currently serving his first full term after winning the election in November. Before serving in the NC House, Stone had tried and failed at least three times to enter the world of politics: he ran for the Arlington County Board in 1996 and ran for Charlotte mayor in 2011 and 2015. Rep. Scott Stone did not think the NCGA should change HB2 until Charlotte changed its own ordinance, even though HB2 cost Charlotte at least $100 million and he opposed all parts of Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance, including protection for LGBT community. Stone claims he is concerned about education, but supported a Republican budget that shortchanges NC teachers and students. Read more on Stone here

Similarly, Dulin was elected to the District 104 seat in 2016 and is currently serving his first full term. Before serving in the NC House, Dulin tried and failed at least three times to enter the world of politics outside the Charlotte City Council. He ran for the Mecklenburg County Commission in 2004, ran for NC Senate in the 2008 primary, and Congress in 2012. Dulin is an out-of-touch member of Charlotte’s elite, putting his own advancement above the will of constituents and pushing the needs of corporations over students and teachers. Additionally, Dulin supported a measure that would make nondiscrimination ordinances subject to referendum less than a year after HB2 cost Charlotte millions. Read more on Dulin here

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McCrory has used the same “fear” rhetoric on HB2 he now criticizes

HB2

McCrory responded “not a fear” when asked  “what is your fear? as you know, there is a misconception that transgendered are somehow molesters.” “Kelly pressed McCrory several times on the rhetoric surrounding House Bill 2. R…

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