Responding to HB 2 critics, North Carolina governor signs new order

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Duke University student Sydney Roberts shouts during a protest against House Bill 2 on Thursday, March 24, 2016, outside of the Governor's Mansion on North Blount Street in downtown Raleigh, N.C. (Jill Knight/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)

Duke University student Sydney Roberts shouts during a protest against House Bill 2 on Thursday, March 24, 2016, outside of the Governor’s Mansion on North Blount Street in downtown Raleigh, N.C. Photo by Jill Knight/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed an executive order Tuesday to address concerns over a recently-passed state bill that has been called the most anti-LGBT law in the U.S.

According to the governor’s office, the order does the following:

    — Maintains common sense gender-specific restroom and locker room facilities in government buildings and schools
    — Affirms the private sector’s right to establish its own restroom and locker room policies
    — Affirms the private sector and local governments’ right to establish non-discrimination employment policies for its own employees
    — Expands the state’s employment policy for state employees to cover sexual orientation and gender identity
    — Seeks legislation to reinstate the right to sue in state court for discrimination

Executive Order 93 adds employment protection for state employees based on sexual orientation and gender identity, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

The order comes several weeks after HB 2 passed in North Carolina roughly 12 hours after it was introduced. The law requires that transgender people use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificate. It also repealed an LGBT protection ordinance that Charlotte, North Carolina, had passed, preventing other cities from passing similar protections laws.

The bill drew widespread criticism from the LGBT community and allies, who said it was bound to alienate LGBT residence and encourage discrimination. A number of businesses denounced the law, including American Airlines, PayPal and Dow Chemical. City mayors in San Francisco, Seattle and New York City issued travel bans to the state for taxpayer-funded travel, along with the state of New York and the Boston City Council.

McCrory said that some of this criticism reflected “misinterpretation” of the law.

“After listening to people’s feedback for the past several weeks on this issue, I have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion, a lot of passion and frankly, selective outrage and hypocrisy, especially against the great state of North Carolina,” McCrory said in a statement.

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