North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Monday blamed media coverage of the state’s new law that prohibits local governments from passing anti-discrimination measures for the backlash from businesses and progressive groups.
“There’s a very well-coordinated campaign — national campaign which is distorting the truth, which is frankly smearing our state in an inaccurate way, and which I’m working to correct,” he said in a press conference. “And I hope the media starts putting out more accurate information on the facts between a basic common sense bill which allows businesses to determine their own restroom and shower and locker room facilities, not government.”
“And I frankly think some of the media has failed miserably in communicating the clear facts, especially the national media with the New York Times and the Washington Post and the Huffington Post,” McCrory continued. “And we’re trying to clarify that [sic] facts, and I hope you put out the accurate information about the true facts of a common sense ordinance.”
He also criticized “editorial pages which are definitely misleading the public on many items.”
The governor insisted that the new law has “not taken away any rights that currently existed in any city in North Carolina.”
“Every city and every corporation has the exact same discrimination policy this week as they had two weeks ago,” he said in the press conference.
The new law, which was rushed through the state legislature in a special session last week, keeps local governments from providing anti-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity and directs public schools and government agencies only allow individuals to use a bathroom that aligns with their biological gender.
The law also removes the ability for private sector employees to file a suit under state law if they claim they were fired for discriminatory reasons on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap.
Since McCrory signed the law, numerous businesses in the state have expressed opposition to the law, and both the NBA and the NCAA said they would monitor the situation regarding future games in the state.
McCrory said the media is “exaggerating” when he was was asked at the Monday press conference about businesses threatening to leave the state over the new law.
“I have not had one corporation tell me that they’re threatening to leave,” McCrory said. “We’ve clearly stated to them that their policies do not change – they did not know that based on the press coverage.”
The governor was also asked whether the new law would impact a fair housing ordinance in Greensboro and another policy regarding municipal contracts in Raleigh. He said he did not know, according to the Charlotte Observer.
“You’re blindsiding me with a question,” McCrory said. “I’ve been traveling all day, so you’re telling me something I’m not aware of.”
A spokesman for McCrory later told the Charlotte Observer that the new law will not affect housing ordinances but added he was “not sure” how the law would impact other measures.
Watch part of McCrory’s press conference via the News & Observer: