On Tuesday, Republican Pat McCrory tried to save face in light of the discriminatory and highly controversial anti-LGBT bill that he supported and signed into law late last month.
In a video address, McCrory defended the bill’s most controversial measure—which targeted the state’s transgender community by mandating they use bathrooms belonging to the gender that appears on their birth certificates—while agreeing to expand the state’s employment policies to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. He also called for a separate bill to reinstate individuals’ right to sue for discrimination, which were also gutted by the bill.
Critics were swift to dismiss McCrory’s actions as half-measures that do nothing to repeal HB2’s discriminatory provisions. “Governor McCrory’s executive order is a day late and a veto short,” Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said in a statement.
McCrory faces mounting pressure to fully repeal the law. Several companies have threatened to stop doing business in the state until the law is undone, and at least two—PayPal and Deutsche Bank—have already followed through, the latter announcing earlier in the day they were axing a planned expansion that would have brought 250 new jobs to the state.
Lawmakers who supported the bill have also started to rethink their votes. Democratic State Representative Billy Richardson penned an op-ed in the Fayetteville Observer on Monday apologizing for his vote and calling for its full repeal.