NORTH CAROLINA (LifeSiteNews) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order yesterday making “sexual orientation” and “gender identity or expression” protected classes, forcing businesses to allow men in women’s restrooms and vice versa.
The order applies to employment in state government and the provision of government services, including programs and services concerning public safety, health, and welfare.
In order to be awarded a state contract or grant, a business will have to comply with the pro-transgender order. Public facilities must also allow men to use women’s restrooms in accordance with their “gender identity.”
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of NC Values Coalition, called the Democrat governor’s order “a massive power grab, with sweeping changes that only the Legislative Branch has the authority to enact.”
“Governor Cooper has betrayed the people of North Carolina with an Executive Order that not only allows boys and men into girls’ and women’s showers and bathrooms but also forces private businesses to adopt sweeping LGBT privileges,” said Fitzgerald.
Earlier this year, Cooper signed HB 142 into law. HB 142 “kept in place longstanding laws that required that showers and bathrooms be used in accordance with one’s sex on their birth certificate,” Fitzgerald explained.
HB 142 was supposed to be a compromise of HB 2, North Carolina’s famous bathroom privacy bill. The left was upset that Cooper didn’t sign a full repeal of HB 2. HB 142 weakened but still left in place some key parts of HB 2. It also prevents cities from passing pro-LGBT “public accommodation” nondiscrimination laws until 2020.
“Bathroom privacy and safety are sacrificed under Roy Cooper’s bathroom plan, which is more akin to Harvey Weinstein’s bathroom plan,” the NC Values Coalition wrote in a press release.
The pro-freedom, pro-family group warned that this executive order means religious business owners will have to choose between following their faith or losing government contracts.
“Anyone who has or seeks a government contract with the state or receive government benefits (like churches and religious organizations) will have to adopt internal operating policies that favor and give preference to people who are gay, lesbian, or transgender,” NC Values Coalition explained.
Cooper’s executive order cites Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court decision imposing same-sex “marriage” on the U.S., and a study from the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“The majority of federal courts that have addressed the issue to date have held that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is unlawful,” the order says. “It is necessary to provide state and local government actors with clarity and guidance regarding existing laws and policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.”
Fitzgerald said North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is “elevating LGBT privileges above the rights of common everyday people to privacy and safety in bathrooms and showers.”
She blasted him for not “failing to defend the laws of the state.”
The executive order claims it’s “not inconsistent” with existing state and federal laws.
“It is despicable, and the voters of NC will hold (Cooper and Stein) accountable,” said Fitzgerald.
The LGBT lobby said Cooper’s order doesn’t go nearly far enough, especially because HB 142 is still on the books.
It’s just “a step in the right direction,” the interim director of Equality North Carolina, Matt Hirschy, said of Cooper’s major olive branch to the LGBT movement.
“It’s not nearly enough,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.