Saturday, October 08, 2016

Pat McCory's Defeat Could Be a Watershed Moment for Gay Rights

Admittedly, today's Republican Party offers a cavalcade of douche bags and assholes, starting with Donald Trump.  But Trump is merely a symptom of the larger cancer infecting the GOP.   Here in Virginia, a glance southward to North Carolina offers a look at another GOP Governor Pat McCrory, a foul Republican who has staked his political career on the denigration of LGBT Americans, and the transgender individuals in particular.  If current polls prove accurate, McCory may be headed to defeat largely because of his anti-gay bigotry and willingness to prostitute himself to Christofascists.   Should he creash and burn and go down to defeat, McCrory's demise may be a much needed wake up call to the GOP that anti-gay bigotry is now a guaranteed loser at the polls.  Here are excerpts from the Washington Post that looks at McCrory's much hoped for defeat:
Not since Larry Craig widened his stance has a bathroom caused so much trouble for a politician.
North Carolina’s Republican governor, Pat McCrory, was a good bet for reelection earlier this year. But then he signed HB2 into law in March, eliminating municipal nondiscrimination ordinances and requiring transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender listed on their birth certificates.
Since then, McCrory’s fortunes have been, well, in the toilet.
Last fall, the conservative group North Carolina Civitas had a poll showing the governor with a favorable rating of 54 percent. But in late April, a month after McCrory signed the bathroom bill, the same group found his favorable rating had dropped to 39 percent. Polling shows McCrory trailing his Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper, by four percentage points. And there’s little doubt HB2 is a major cause. A plurality of North Carolinians disapprove of McCrory’s handling of the issue and say it makes them less likely to support him.
Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights organization, puts the law’s cost for North Carolina at nearly half a billion dollars. Whatever the figure, the reaction has been severe: The NBA moved its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, while the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference took their championships from the state. PayPal — one of about 200 corporations calling for repeal — canceledplans to bring 400 jobs to Charlotte. Bruce Springsteen, Maroon 5 and others have canceled performances in the state. , the James Beard Foundation canceled its meeting in the state because of HB2.
[A] defeat of McCrory because of the bathroom bill would be a watershed (or, if you will, a water closet) moment for gay rights. Stigmatizing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans has already lost its potency as a political weapon. But this would be the first case of a prominent official being voted out of office because his anti-gay actions backfired.
Maggie Gallagher, founder of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage,wrote in National Review in August that “the future of religious liberty for traditional religious believers hangs on” McCrory’s reelection. If he loses, she wrote, “the GOP will concede whatever the Left demands on gay rights.”
There’s no realistic prospect of reversing the legalization of same-sex marriage, so opponents are instead pursuing scores of state initiatives restricting gay rights in the name of “religious freedom,” bathroom bills and more.
But while 202 such bills were introduced in 2016, only five were enacted, according to the Human Rights Campaign. GOP governors in South Dakotaand Georgia vetoed such bills to avoid backlash — and both are considerably more popular than McCrory, who finds himself increasingly lonely. Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, in a tight reelection race, distanced himself from HB2. Half a dozen Republican state legislators who voted for the bill have said they want a do-over.
Confident that public opinion continues to shift in their favor, gay-rights advocates, with Hillary Clinton’s backing, are aiming for a federal “Equality Act,” which would bar anti-LGBT discrimination in employment.
The legislation faces long odds in Congress. But that could change — if North Carolinians flush Pat McCrory next month.
 Personally, I hope that McCrory - and others in the North Carolina GOP - go down to defeat.  Until the laws change and the GOP becomes a permanent minority in North Carolina, the husband and I will not visit the state if we can find a way to avoid it. 

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