North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has signed an executive order partially changing the state's new "bathroom" bill in an effort to quell a firestorm of criticism and economic backlash against his state.
McCrory's order expands the equal employment policy for state employees to include sexual orientation and gender. He also reaffirmed private businesses' rights to establish their own bathroom policies, a provision already stated in the original bill.
But the governor left intact perhaps the most contentious part of the law, which states that government bathrooms will be separated primarily by biological sex.
"We have long-held traditions of both ensuring equality for all our citizens and visitors while also respecting the privacy of everyone," McCrory said in a video message. "We're also a state that strives to allow our people and businesses to be as independent as possible without overreaching goverment regulation."
Watch Gov. Pat McCrory's message below:
Both state houses overwhelmingly passed House Bill 2, known as the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act. The law overrides the Charlotte ordinance giving people permission to use a public bathroom of their choice regardless of gender.
On Tuesday, McCrory acknowledged outcry over the law, saying he'd listened to "feedback" from people for several weeks.
He said that "based upon this feedback, I am taking action to affirm and improve the state's commitment to privacy and equality."
McCrory signed the law March 23. Since then, several high profile businesses, including PayPal and Deutsche Bank, have cancelled expansion plans into the state.
In an interview late last week, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest told CBN News the Left has used a "methodically orchestrated campaign" to fight the measure every step of the way.
"We didn't initiate the issue. It was started when a local city council passed an un-Constitutional ordinance opening all bathrooms and showers to all sexes at all times," Forest said.
"Once the state begins the process of fighting back, the Left first brings out the human rights groups to claim discrimination. This begins the narrative … of intolerance," he explained.
"Then they take that intolerance narrative to a hand-picked group of CEOs and author a letter where they champion efforts to fight intolerance," he said.
On Monday, hundreds of social conservatives gathered at the old Capitol building in Raleigh to call on McCrory to stand strong on the state's "bathroom" bill.
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