White House Press Secretary Josh
Earnest on Friday advised states considering anti-LGBT bills to look
to North Carolina's experience on the issue.
Republican lawmakers in that state last
year approved House Bill 2, the first state law in the nation to
prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice
in public buildings. The law proved unpopular and led to a vocal
backlash. Then-Governor Pat McCrory's continued defense of the law
as he sought reelection appears to have contributed to his defeat.
his way out, Pat McCrory blames anti-gay law for election loss.)
Several states in recent weeks have
announced similar bills, including Texas and Virginia.
When asked whether the incoming Trump
administration should speak out against the proposals – as the
Obama administration has – Earnest replied that lawmakers in those
states should consult with McCrory.
“I think the first observation I
would make is I'd encourage the leaders of the states that you named
to consult with outgoing North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory about
whether or not that's a particularly smart political idea. I'm not
sure that it is,” Earnest
“I would also encourage them to
contact the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce to determine whether
or not the state of North Carolina benefited economically from
implementing these policies,” Earnest added. “They did not when
you consider the business decisions that were made by not just
high-profile organizations like the NCAA and the NBA, but also other
businesses that were looking to expand their footprint and expand
their business in that state. They chose not to do so because they
were concerned that their employees and their customers were at
heightened risk of being discriminated against.”