September 7, 2016 at 6:45 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
New McCrory ad calls anti-LGBT law ‘common sense’

Pat McCrory, Republican Party, South Carolina, same-sex marriage, gay marriage, marriage equality, gay news, Washington Blade

Gov. Pat McCrory (R-N.C.) is campaigning on his state’s anti-LGBT law. (Photo by Hal Goodtree; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Flouting polls indicating most people in North Carolina oppose the state’s anti-LGBT law and believe it has harmed the economy, Gov. Pat McCrory has unveiled a new campaign ad touting House Bill 2 as “common sense.”

In the 30-second ad, made public on Wednesday and titled “Common Sense,” McCrory blames outside forces for seeking to instate non-discrimination measures for transgender people in North Carolina, which he said amounts to “pushing to make our schools allow boys to use the girls’ locker rooms and showers.”

“Are we really talking about this?” McCrory says. “Does the desire to be politically correct outweigh our children’s privacy and safety. Not on my watch. Our kids and teachers are my priority. This is North Carolina. Let’s do what’s right.”

Signed by McCrory in March after a single day of consideration by the state legislature, HB2 nullified all pro-LGBT city ordinances in the state, including one recently enacted in Charlotte, and now bars transgender people from using the public restroom in schools and government buildings consistent with their gender identity.

HB2 has inspired a massive outcry in business community, which has cancelled plans for expansion in North Carolina as a result of the law. North Carolina Attorney Roy Cooper, who’s challenging McCrory in the gubernatorial race, has made repeal of the law a campaign promise.

Jamal Little, a Cooper campaign spokesperson, said the campaign ad disregards the financial impact the anti-LGBT law has had on North Carolina.

“How can we fix this problem if we have a governor who won’t even acknowledge it exists?” Little said. “While the governor continues to deny the economic impact of House Bill 2, by running this ad it’s clear he recognizes the impact it is having on his poll numbers. It’s time for a leader who will work to repeal House Bill 2 and put the interests of North Carolinians first.”

According to a Monmouth University poll published earlier this month, Cooper holds a lead over McCrory of 52 percent to 43 percent in the gubernatorial race. The same poll found that 7-in-10 voters believe HB2 has been bad for North Carolina’s national reputation. Compared to the 36 percent of state residents who support the law, 55 percent oppose it, the poll found.

Dan Rafter, a spokesperson for Freedom for All Americans, said McCrory’s effort to campaign on the anti-LGBT law ignores reality.

“The truth is, Pat McCrory and his allies in the North Carolina general assembly convened a special session – at great cost to taxpayers – to push through a blatantly discriminatory law that has thrashed the state’s economy and imperiled the governor’s political future,” Rafter said. “Gov. McCrory continues to live in an alternate universe where he’s choosing to remain blind to the damage he’s done to his state, and instead doubles-down on discrimination. The voters will have the final say on McCrory and his policies in November.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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