North Carolina Governor Steals $500k From Disaster Relief To Legally Defend Anti LGBT Bathroom Law (DETAILS)

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Remember the controversy when North Carolina passed a law banning transgender people from using the restroom of their choice? Legislators claimed the law was meant to protect women, but the fact is, it has not done that. In fact, as we reported in May, it actually led to a non-transgender woman getting harassed in Wal-Mart.

The law has come under fire not only from the LGBT community, but also from numerous businesses. However, North Carolina has not backed down. In fact, they are spending $500,000 to defend the bill from lawsuits.

Somehow, though, that isn’t even the worst part. The worst part is where that money comes from, namely the state’s Emergency Response and Disaster Relief fund.

The state of North Carolina is taking money that has been set aside to deal with floods, hurricanes and other disasters and put it into a legal fund to defend the state against lawsuits pertaining to this anti-LGBT bill. Conservatives like to talk a lot about government spending and fiscal responsibility, but here they are taking money from one of the most basic functions of government — emergency services and disaster relief — and spending it on defending legislation that only makes transgender people feel less safe and members of the religious right feel superior.

This transfer is authorized as part of a recently-passed technical corrections bill. This bill is supposed to be used to deal with things like fixing typos in laws, correcting bad legal references, or handling minor expenses that weren’t accounted for in the budget. It’s not normally meant to transfer half a million dollars from an existing program.

According to Republican Harry Brown, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, governor Pat McCrory asked for the money to be transferred. Brown says he doesn’t know how much it will cost the state to defend the law.

Lawmakers have also spent some time trying to revise the law, possibly in response to pressure from outside business interests like the NBA. Those in the meeting have not released any details about what the proposed changes might be, but it’s unlikely that they will satisfy opponents of the bill who simply want it repealed.

Republicans have given no indication that they plan to repeal the bill, despite its unpopularity. Only 36 percent of those surveyed said they supported the bill, whereas 45 percent oppose it. When asked whether they think the law is a good thing for the state, 53 percent said they believe that the law is hurting North Carolina. The poll also asked voters to consider the bill’s impact from several different angles, including its impact on the economy, national reputation, and public safety. In each case, the majority of voters said they believe the bill is having a negative impact on North Carolina.

Some people, such as activist Matt Hirschy, believe that the Republican Party will be punished during the next election.

‘I think what we’ve seen with HB2 is an unprecedented attack on LGBTQ people, and I think the response from LGBTQ people will be just as unprecedented.’

Featured image via Nathania Johnson/Flickr, available under a Creative Commons license.