Metro Weekly

National Review writer: Democrats exploited HB 2 for political gain

Deroy Murdock blasts Democrats' embrace of trans community, "the Left's latest coddled victim group"

Roy Cooper - Photo: WUNC-TV.

Roy Cooper – Photo: WUNC-TV.

“Evidently, Cooper preferred to keep a controversial issue in Democrats’ arsenal — all the better to inflame liberal voters, activists and donors — than to chill the situation with a consensus solution and let things return to semi-normal.”

Deroy Murdock, a contributing editor to the right-wing publication National Review, in an editorial slamming Democrats in North Carolina for embracing transgender rights and for “cheer[ing] when such job creators take their business elsewhere.” Murdock accuses Democrats in the Old North State of celebrating the recent decisions by companies, conventions and major event planners to boycott North Carolina over the state’s anti-transgender HB 2 law.

“In solidarity with transgendered (sic) people — the Left’s latest coddled victim group — Democrats now celebrate when companies, conventions and sports teams boycott the Tarheel (sic) State,” he writes. “Even more astonishingly, some North Carolina Democrats actively disinvite corporations and organizations that, in their minds, are going to Carolina.”

Murdock singles out two figures on whom he vents his spleen: Attorney General Roy Cooper, now seeking the governorship, and Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts — aided, he notes, by Democrats on Charlotte’s city council. Murdock blames the city council and Roberts for passing a nondiscrimination bill that allowed transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. It was this “revolutionary” action that forced lawmakers in the Republican-dominated legislature in Raleigh to pass HB 2, the argument goes.

“[HB 2] quickly was attacked nationwide as a cruel exercise in bigotry — never mind the serious concerns among mothers, girls, and other women not thrilled about sharing intimate facilities with ‘gender-identified’ ‘females’ who just happen to possess penises and scrota. Likewise, some men were reluctant to shower with ‘males’ equipped with breasts and vaginas,” Murdock writes.

He also mentions that Republicans and a handful of Democrats had sought to end some of the controversy over the law and end the boycotts by crafting a compromise. But according to Murdock, Cooper leaned on Democratic lawmakers to walk away from the deal so he could use the law’s unpopularity and embarrassing headlines resulting from boycotts to bolster his campaign for governor. He also accuses Cooper of actively discouraging businesses from relocating or expanding in North Carolina, in order to use HB 2 as a cudgel to attack incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory.

“It’s one thing for any of the other 49 states to run ads and try to lure companies and events out of North Carolina. It’s something completely different for North Carolina’s own taxpayer-funded public servants to scare jobs and commerce away from their own state,” Murdock concludes. “Roy Cooper, Jennifer Roberts, and other Democrats created this mess. For that, North Carolina voters should punish them at the polls.”

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

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