Metro Weekly

North Carolina gay man defends voting for Pat McCrory

Dan Gurley supports governor's re-election, despite his personal opposition to anti-LGBT law

Gurley (left) - Photo: North Carolina State Ports Authority Board; McCrory - Photo: Hal Goodtree.

Gurley (left) – Photo: North Carolina State Ports Authority Board; McCrory – Photo: Hal Goodtree.

“The signing of one piece of bad legislation does not dictate abandoning the candidacy of someone who has real accomplishments.”[/crosslink]

Dan Gurley, the first openly gay Republican to be appointed and confirmed to a state board or commission in North Carolina history, arguing that Gov. Pat McCrory should be re-elected.

In an editorial for the North State Journal, Gurley — who previously worked for a Republican congressman — the Republican National Committee, and Equality NC, says he believes the governor is being unfairly blamed for the fallout stemming from his decision to sign the anti-LGBT HB 2 into law.

Gurley believes HB 2 is “an egregious piece of legislation” and “lawmaking at its worst.” And yet, he adds, the blame for the law cannot be solely laid at the governor’s feet.

“What is fair is that our governor has a record the LGBT community can celebrate,” Gurley says. “When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling on marriage equality, our governor made clear he would respect and uphold the law. There would be no ‘carve outs’ for those, including North Carolina magistrates, who disagreed with the ruling. Further, he directed all state agencies to immediately comply with the ruling. No exceptions.” (He fails to mention that the state legislature eventually overrode a McCrory veto of a bill that “carves out” exemptions for magistrates who wish to recuse themselves from performing same-sex marriages.)

Gurley also argues that, unlike in Indiana, where Gov. Mike Pence signed that state’s anti-LGBT law, McCrory stopped a similar law from passing in North Carolina.

As for HB 2, Gurley blames the Charlotte City Council for passing an LGBT-inclusive law that included nondiscrimination protections in public accommodations such as restrooms and locker rooms.

Gurley argues that McCrory sought to limit the extent of HB 2 prior to its passage, as evidenced in emails from McCrory’s staff that were published by local press.

“There are other reasons, of course, why I support the re-election of McCrory,” Gurley concludes. “The fiscal health of our state, the explosion of economic growth and job creation since he took office, and the reforms and de-politicization of state government after decades of Democratic manipulation and skulduggery are all accomplishments of which we can be proud.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com