This week Real Facts NC launched a documentary series, Missing Us. The series focuses on capturing the effects of legislative decisions on the lives of North Carolinians through storytelling. The first installment highlights Greensboro resident Ali Collins and how, as a Black queer and trans person, his preexisting conditions make it harder for him to access health care. Future installments will cover health care from different perspectives.
On September 11, after telling Democrats and reporters that no votes would occur, Republican House Speaker Tim Moore called for a surprise vote in the House to override a veto of a budget that did not include Medicaid expansion. Most Democratic members were not present. House Republicans now say they’ll move forward with a plan that would expand Medicaid, but by tacking work requirements and premiums onto health care plans.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
As expanding access to health care becomes one of the leading priorities of the 2019 legislative session, gender identity, a less discussed determinant of access, deserves attention. Trans people are fighting to receive quality health care in North Carolina.
Trans people have been targeted by legislation in North Carolina in the past. One powerful instance was HB2, known as the “bathroom bill,” which restricted public bathroom use for people who were not cis men or women. Another part of this bill that was vastly overlooked made it clear that employees are able to discriminate against a person based on gender identity.
At the close of 2016, newly elected Republican treasurer Dale Folwell announced a goal to “reduce the state health plan’s 32 billion dollar debt, provide a more affordable family premium especially for our lowest paid employees and provide transparency to the taxpayers.” In 2017 Folwell announced the state health plan would no longer cover gender-affirming care for trans state employees as part of his cost-saving effort. This cut continues to undermine the well-being of trans people in North Carolina and advances a path to sanction the denial of rights of key constituents. At 2018’s open, hormone therapy- a method of gender affirmation and one utilized treatment for gender dysphoria- was cut from the state health plan. In 2019, this health plan will come under scrutiny by the legislature as they create NC’s overall budget- and it is in need of some serious changes.Read More
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
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.Read More
Immediate Action: McCrory threatened “immediate state legislative intervention” before passage of Charlotte ordinance. (Charlotte Observer, 2/22/16) It can wait: McCrory said lawmakers should wait until short session in late April to deal with Charlotte Ordinance …Read More
Governor McCrory signed HB2, as a result, many major US corporations, including Apple, Google, Twitter, American Airlines have publically condemned this decision. The backlash from the business and sports communities has been overwhelming and swift. Here are the facts: IBM, a large North …Read More