North Carolina has lost a string of big investment ventures over Republican Governor Pat McCrory’s decision to sign the contentious HB 2 – which voided all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, banned transgender people from using their preferred bathroom, and permits businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.Although Trump comfortably took the state during the Presidential election last month, an apparent split-ticket vote saw McCrory narrowly lose his re-election battle to Democrat Roy Cooper. After a month of legal challenges, McCrory finally conceded this week.In the wake of the result, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and Equality North Carolina have released results of post-election polling, which shows that HB 2 was the critical issue leading to McCrory’s defeat.57 percent of North Carolinians cited HB2 as their key reason to vote against McCrory, 17 points above any other issue, while voters were opposed to the anti-LGBT law by a 62 to 30 percent margin.According to the polling, both Trump and Burr won the Independent vote by 21 points, while McCrory won by only 9 points. HB 2 was also a key issue in four state legislature races where the Democrats gained seats.Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro said: “This polling data shows what we have seen and heard in our communities all over the state – HB2 is bad for North Carolina.
The news suggests Trump may face a backlash from his own supporters if he fulfils his pledge to sign the First Amendment Defence Act, which would instead grant license to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religion.HRC President Chad Griffin said: “This research is proof that when it comes to LGBTQ equality, hearts and minds remain forever changed and on our side. Nowhere is that more clear than in North Carolina, where voters soundly rejected Pat McCrory and sent a clear signal that anti-LGBTQ politicking is now a liability to candidates, no matter their party.