RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina is a key battleground state in the 2016 presidential election as well as the hot bed of many controversial issues facing the United States.
Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is up for re-election and one issue he is not backing off of is the bathroom bill.
In an interview with CBN's Jenna Browder, the governor explained the importance of Christians speaking up during this year's election.
"Everyone comes up to me and goes, 'Governor, you must have incredible thick skin when people say pretty cruel things about you and even make threats' and the fact is I don't," McCrory told CBN News.
Earlier this year, House Bill 2 became law requiring people who live in North Carolina to use the public bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate, not their gender identity.
McCrory and conservatives say it protects women and girls from sexual predators. But liberals say the law discriminates against transgender people.
'HB2 is actually relevant now because the federal government has stepped in and ordered the definition of gender to be based upon expression and identity," he explained. "So, this whole focus on one bill is really a diversion."
"And the national media has no idea and the people in the public have no idea that this issue was started by the Left in the city of Charlotte, by a very liberal mayor and by the attorney general that I'm running against," McCrory said.
As governor's race tightens, McCrory's opponent, Roy Cooper is using HB2 to get support on his side.
"We've seen no leadership from our governor on this issue. He has doubled down on this bad law as our state has taken hit after hit," Cooper charged.
"It's a major changer in our moral fabric… and it deserves debate and deserves discussion. But there's even a lot of pressure on corporations," he added.
Apple and PayPal are among the corporate giants backing out of the state over the bathroom bill, though not entirely. McCrory noted there are a number of companies still quietly pursuing opportunities in North Carolina. Groups like the NBA and NCAA have also packed up some of their operations.
Meanwhile, McCrory is standing firm, saying the line has to be drawn somewhere when it involves these issues concerning morality.
"You've got to draw the line somewhere and the entertainment world is very hypocritical on this also," he said.
"George Clooney, whom I love as an actor, after he criticized N.C.'s bill, he went to China to promote his movie -- China who's human rights record is horrible," he added.
McCrory also emphasized the importance of the evangelical community's influence when it comes to the 2016 election.
"You know, one thing I've told a lot of people is we have to have the silent majority quit whispering," he said. "They talk too softly about their support. They need to speak out now because what's happening in America and what's happening in North Carolina -- the only people you hear from is the media."
"And the only people you hear from protesting in the street or on our universities are people on the very far Left who disagree with people of faith on many issues," McCrory continued. "But we're not hearing from the silent majority. They're too quiet right now."
"Therefore, the impression of the independent voter is, 'Well, the loud people must represent the majority,' and we're going to find out this election. It's going to be very interesting," he predicted.