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Joint | June 28, 2016 | Press Room | Sgro Press Conference

Full MP3 Audio File




All right Allan, how's that level looking for you there Allan? >> Pretty good. >> It's gonna be all right. Everybody good, everybody good. one, two. [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] How's that? >> That's perfect Stan [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] Give one more minute and then we're gonna go ahead and get started. [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] Good afternoon. Here we go again, once more North Carolina General Assembly Leadership is pushing bad anti-LGBT Legislation. Once more leadership has not consulted with us or discussed the piece of legislation with us with us that will have deep impacts For our LGBT community. Once again, NCGA leadership is trying to move legislation in the dark of the night without time for our input or evaluation. Once again, the General Assembly is ready to cut and run at a high price to the LGBT community. They're playing politics with people's lives what we have seen leaked, who know's when we would have seen it otherwise, what we have seen is not a deal, it's not a compromise, it's just another bad bill. It's just another discriminatory measure, it's just another slap in the face of all North Carolininians. This, is HB 2.0.

There is a solution if leadership really wants to do something, they will repeal House Bill 2. If leadership wants to do something to repair our economy, they will pull representative Jackson's repeal bill out of committee and let us vote on it. If leadership wants to stop the discrimination the gay and transgender North Carolinian's face, they will allow a vote on the the equality for all Act which would extend protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity as well as veteran status. Instead, what we have seen does none of that. It's tortured language around gender identity that does nothing to improve our state for LGBT community. This bill does not allow municipalities to set their own well thought out bar for non discrimination protections. And it does not allow people to use their correct rest room. It leaves HB2 intact and requires trans gender people to register with the state to use a rest room. It doesn't fix wage laws. In short, we've been here and done this. I'm confident that the people of North Carolina and the business community will stand up strong and say this doesn't solve the problem. I've heard earlier that Representatives in leadership are saying that we'll be out of here on Saturday. None of us can or should go home in good conscious with a bill that is destroying the reputation of our State and putting putting LGBT people at risk for discrimination remaining on the books, friends at home, it is urgent that you call your member of the general assembly in both the house and the Senate and tell them not to adjourn without the full repeal of HB2. This bill does not do this, this bill does not do much of anything. And to you Speaker Moore and Senator Berger we must have a repeal vote before we leave. Stop digging the hole deeper, get our state out of the hole, what I've seen here will not solve the problem the process created a mess last time, don't double down on that mess, let us vote on repeal. I didn't introduce myself, I'm Representative Chris Sgro, i'm also the executive director of a quality North Carolina and we're gonna have a couple of other speakers before we take questions. We as you are reacting quickly to this leaked non-fix, next up we have Kate Oakley who's the senior legislative counsel for the human rights campaign Hello, I think it's important to begin by saying that HB2 is the only law of its kind in the entire country. HB2 is an egregious anti-LGBT law and no part of it can be left untouched without affecting the LGBT and progressive communities. The language leaked today HB 2.0 is not a fix it is not a compromise and it is absolutely unacceptable it is the legislative equivalent of throwing a glass of water on to a burning building. It continues to prevent cities from regulating issues that are properly theirs, including non-discrimination ordinances and including living wage and other similar ordinances that have traditionally banned in the provinces and cities to regulate. It also continues to deny transgender North Carolinians the dignity of being able to use the restroom in accordance with their gender identity. Well the change to the policy allowing a very small subsection of the transgender community to update their identity documents is welcomed. In the context of the incredible harm perpetrated upon the transgender community by a HB2. HB2.0 does little to rectify those harms/g, HB2 instead adds insult to injury and it leaves the most damaging elements of HB2 intact it is outrageous and completely unacceptable. [BLANK_AUDIO] Thanks Kate next up we'll have Sara Preston and the acting Executive Director of the ACLU of North Carolina. >> Thank you Chris. My name is Sara Preston I'm the acting Executive Director and Policy Director for the ACLU of North Carolina. The language we've seen today is far too little far too late, recent events should have made plain that the legislature needs to extend full protection to the LGBT community. It is plain that the LGBT community is subject to harassment and discrimination in North Carolina and even violence. Everyday that House Bill 2 remains on the books it puts the LGBT community in our state at risk. Before House Bill two was passed, a survey of trans gender North Carolinians, revealed that half of the respondents reported being verbally harassed or discriminated against in public accommodations. And 8% reported being physically assaulted in places of public accommodations. This legislature should not be considering leaving without fully

repealing House Bill two and replacing it with full non discrimination protections for the LGBT community. North Carolina needs to send a clear message that it believes all people deserve to be respected, to be treated fairly and to be protected against violence and discrimination. This does not do that. We need full repeal and replacement of House Bill two and we need it now. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Thanks Sarah, lastly if any of my colleagues in the house wanted to offer brief remarks before we move on to question. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Okay. Great, so I will take questions and all three speakers will be available. >> Have you heard directly from any member of Republican leadership or the persons supposedly working on this measure that they are working on it. Several conversations I've had with Republican leaders today say yeah. there have been conversation, within conversations for the entire session but this specific language is not attached to a particular vehicle. It's not embedded into their pockets and it's not been discussed at any level where you would think that it's likely to become a reality. Do you have some reason to believe that that is anything more than one of many proposals in the closure around here the session? >> The process question that you raise is, I don't know whether the content or the process is actually the bigger problem here, but they are both hugely problematic. And the process question that you just raised is spot on. I have heard rumblings through out session, this being the loudest rumbling that there is some sort of unacceptable not really fix fixed that doesn't repeal the bill. This is certainly the only one that I've seen that presents concrete language, and I did read the Charlotte Observer story that pegged it as coming from leadership. So, we certainly are discouraged to see this kind of language come forward, and what I do know is that I've not been included in any of the conversations with leadership, or anybody else nor has the LGBT community. In potentially figuring out how to repeal house bill to the session and move on. So again we're running up against really bad process. >> So you don't have a specific individual or group of lawmakers that this attaches to, who's standing up and saying yes, we're doing this? >> No I've had conversations with multiple lawmakers who've speculated that something like this might come to fruition. This seems to be the biggest fruition that we've seen so far but I am concerned about the process. I'm concerned about the fact that it's been made clear by multiple law makers that something is coming without having actually consulted us. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> This is obviously a concern in Charlotte with the NBA all-star game at risk. What would you tell Commissioner Silva if he would ask if this bill, I think I know the answer, but if a bill like this were acceptable to you? >> I doubt that I would have to tell Commissioner Silva anything. I think that this will be wholly unacceptable to the NBA which has stood up for inclusion and expressed deep discomfort with the current state of the law and bringing all star game here when fans and vendors and other folks might be put at risk, for discrimination and violence. We know and I'm sure that the NBA will know as well, that this doesn't do anything to change that situation. >> Do you think that there's anything short of court appeal that'll placade/g them and allow the game to stay in trouble? >> I can't speak for the NBA I do know that the 200 plus businesses that have signed on to a letter being outspoken are calling for the full appeal of house bill two. And I do believe that if we were actually allowed to have that vote that we would have the full appeal of house bill two. To Mark's point, I believe that I just read breaking news come across that it was sources inside the NBA that had disclosed that they’d been meeting privately with the members of the leadership in the house specifically the speaker’s office. So that's what's prompting the discussion today that there is something emerging and that they have been in communication with the speaker’s office, and what that outcome will be we're not entirely sure yet. >> Doesn't that suggest that the NBA be open to some kind of compromise? >> That wasn't disclosed by the person that was speaking on their behalf. All they said was that they had been in discussion. >> What I will say to that point is that every business that has industry here in North Carolina, every North Carolina citizen,

all all of us are always willing to talk to people about how to get us out of the terrible hole that we are in. Of course the answer is that we need to move towards appeal of house bill two and that's why I really wish that the speaker would stop playing politics and allow a vote on the measure. >> I know some of my colleagues have to go, cuz we're heading to session I'll wait a couple of more minutes if there are more questions, Mark? >> Before your colleagues leave, any of the city law makers up here seen anything that attaches this to an actual person or an actual bill? Representative Mark, have you guys seen anything that makes you think this is an actually a real thing is moving or it's just through the latest flare up of this particular rumor? >> Hamilton. I'm sorry. >> Hamilton. We're marking. >> [LAUGH] >> Whoever wants to take a swing at this. >> I speak only for me, Martin. No. >> Full disclosure this story doesn't smell right to me. This doesn't smell like reality, so convince me otherwise. >> I didn't think House Bill two seemed like something that imagined reality either and we're at the time of session where strange things, things far stranger than this have become reality. I think that's in part why we wanted to jump right on this because if there's an attempt to push anything related to House Bill 2 through it's clearly gonna have to be done on very short notice because of the short time frame that everybody is on. So it's very clear that we're not gonna have a luxury of getting significant public input on any sort of legislation that comes forward. So even if we don't have an absolute, we haven't dusted for finger prints on the draft to see whose actually fingerprints are on it, we've gotta take it seriously because if we don't take this threat to North Carolinians seriously we're not gonna have any time to react to it. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Other questions? Okay, thanks. [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [BLANK_AUDIO] [INAUDIBLE] [INAUDIBLE]