Fayetteville Lawmaker "Haunted" by HB2 Vote, Now Wants to Repeal
Rep. Billy Richardson, a Democrat that voted for HB2, says he's "haunted' by that decision and wants the law repealed. This discriminatory law was rushed through in a matter of hours without the full implications being presented and now even those who voted for it are changing their minds. Meanwhile, businesses and organizations continue to boycott NC while politicians do nothing.
Richardson was one of 11 Democrats to vote for the bill on March 23 along with the Republican majority that controls the General Assembly.
The bill was made public, passed by the legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in one day. Officially called the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, it has become known as the “bathroom law” over its provision that transgender people must use public bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates.
The law was advanced by social conservatives as a public safety measure to prevent sex crimes in restrooms and locker rooms after the Charlotte City Council updated its anti-discrimination ordinance to allow transgender people access to their preferred public restrooms.
HB 2 negates Charlotte’s ordinance. It segregates access in government-owned public restrooms, locker rooms and clothes-changing areas to men and women based on biological sex.
The law has been widely criticized as a thinly disguised tool to legalize discrimination.
In addition to setting the bathroom restrictions on government property — it makes no effort to provide similar restrictions to public restrooms on private property — House Bill 2 sets new restrictions on city and county governments. It also curtails all people’s right to sue in state courts over discrimination in the workplace.
Richardson is a criminal defense and civil lawyer who served two terms in the legislature in the 1990s. He was appointed to the House on Sept. 1 to serve out the term of Rep. Rick Glazier, who resigned. Richardson faces Republican Fayetteville City Councilman Jim Arp in November’s election.