Republican Gov. Pat McCrory said Christians should begin to speak up regarding the controversial bathroom bill, especially with the election being just a few weeks away.
The governor is seeking for reelection in North Carolina, a major battleground state in the 2016 presidential election. One of the primary issues the state is facing right now is the bathroom bill, or House Bill 2, which requires transgender people to use public bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their biological sex at birth.
HB2, which was signed earlier this year, earned intense backlash not just from LGBT advocates but also from businesses, performers and other people from the entertainment industry who have boycotted the state because of the bathroom bill.
The 2017 NBA All-Star Game, originally slotted for Charlotte, was pulled out because of HB2, causing the city to lose a potential economic impact of about $100 million — a “disheartening” reality, according to local sports execs.
“There are other communities out there just waiting for the opportunity to steal those events, steal that economic impact, steal that spotlight,” Charlotte Hornets President Fred Whitfield said. “It’s disheartening because it would have been a chance for us to showcase our city just like we did during the DNC.”
However, McCrory and other conservatives maintain that the bill protects women and children from sexual predators who could enter women’s bathrooms posing as a transgender.
After all the criticism he received, McCrory stands strong on the issue until today.
"Everyone comes up to me and goes, 'Governor, you must have incredible thick skin when people say pretty cruel things about you and even make threats' and the fact is I don't," McCrory said in an interview.
He said the bill is of particular importance today because the federal government has mixed up the definition of gender.
“HB2 is actually relevant now because the federal government has stepped in and ordered the definition of gender to be based upon expression and identity. So, this whole focus on one bill is really a diversion,” he said.
One of McCrory’s staunchest critics is Roy Cooper, also running for North Carolina governor, who has used the issues surrounding HB2 against him. Yet McCrory refuses to budge, saying he has to “draw the line somewhere.”
He urged Christians and “the silent majority” to start speaking up and becoming more vocal about their support for the bill. He said they are “too quiet right now,” and this could have dire consequences.
"They talk too softly about their support,” he said. “They need to speak out now because what's happening in America and what's happening in North Carolina — the only people you hear from is the media."
This gives other people the impression that the louder camp could be the majority, he explained.
"Therefore, the impression of the independent voter is, 'Well, the loud people must represent the majority,' and we're going to find out this election. It's going to be very interesting," he said.
The Institute for Faith and Family has sponsored an ad that supports HB2. Conservative groups have pledged more than $200,000 for its digital media buys and broadcast TV in the hope of educating more people about the controversial bathroom bill.
"Our television ad is necessary to tell the truth about HB2 by educating North Carolinians about the danger and risk associated with laws and policies like Charlotte’s ridiculous ordinance, which would have forced private businesses, churches, schools and public buildings to open their women’s bathrooms and locker rooms to any man claiming to be a woman, even if that person has male anatomy," Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the Institute for Faith and Family, said.
You can watch the ad below.