RALEIGH, N.C. — Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democratic opponent of Gov. Pat McCrory’s bid for re-election, calls on the incumbent governor to concede. Despite Cooper having a lead of more than 10,000 votes against McCrory with 96 of 100 counties having finished their count, the governor has called for a recount and will not accept that he has likely lost the election. By law, once the margin passes 10,000 votes or .5 percent, the recount must be funded by the party contesting the results.
News sources far and wide have debated the exact reason for McCrory’s apparent loss of the governor’s seat. LGBTQ advocate organizations like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) cite House Bill 2 (HB2), the legislation Gov. McCrory signed into law this past March. HB2 cancels out LGBTQ protections and denies transgender people the right to use public restrooms consistent with their gender identity.
“McCrory failed to listen to the majority of fair-minded North Carolinians who know that anti-LGBTQ hatred has no place in their state,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “He lost big because of it. Roy Cooper is a powerful voice for equality and has vowed to work to overturn the hateful and discriminatory HB2.”
However, not everyone agrees that HB2 was the trigger of McCrory’s apparent loss. Lifesite News, a conservative online news source, pointed to the landslide win of anti-LGBT Lt. Gov. Dan Forrest. Known for speaking out against HB2, Forrest’s victory casts doubt on HB2’s role in the governor’s race.
Yet exit polls on Election Day seem to tell another tale. Of the voters questioned upon leaving their polling places, two-thirds said that HB2 has harmed North Carolina. Only 29 percent of voters questioned were in favor of the controversial law.
As recount efforts may last well into December, the legal battle over HB2 will not be addressed until the spring. Meanwhile, protests against the law continue. Sports Illustrated reports that in the game against Duke on Dec. 3, Maine’s basketball team plans to wear rainbow-themed shirts during warm-up. The demonstration is consistent with the You Can Play organization that encourages athletes to be open about their LGBTQ identities.
“It’s one thing to boycott or not show up because of the financial impact and the message that would send,” said Chris Mosier, You Can Play’s vice president of program development and community relations, to USA Today. “But they wanted to be visible and the biggest thing is they want to take the next step. It’s not just wearing a pin or a patch or a shirt. They want to be better allies.”