Former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, says the backlash over his state’s so-called “bathroom law” has made it tough for him to find work since he left public office.
The controversial “bathroom law,” or House Bill 2, requires individuals to use the restroom that correlates with their biological sex as it is written on their birth certificate. Following the law's passage, McCrory, who supported the bill, was attacked as anti-LGBT and several performers and sports teams cancelled their events in the state.
In an interview last week with WORLD, McCrory said HB2 “has impacted me to this day, even after I left office. People are reluctant to hire me, because, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s a bigot’ — which is the last thing I am.”
He told the Christian outlet that liberal groups opposing HB2 have damaged his reputation.
“If you disagree with the politically correct thought police on this new definition of gender, you’re a bigot, you’re the worst of evil,” McCrory said. “It’s almost as if I broke a law.”
In his view, the debate over the law centered on an attempt from the left to change the definition of sex.
“You ask the doctor if it’s a boy or a girl; you don’t ask the baby,” he asserted.
In a follow-up interview Monday with The News & Observer, McCrory further explained his job prospects.
“I’ve currently accepted several opportunities in business to do work that I’d done prior to becoming governor in consulting and advisory board positions, and I’ve also been exploring other opportunities in academia, nonprofits and government,” he said. “And I’ll hopefully be making some of those decisions in the near future.”
McCrory said that he’s been in “ongoing discussions” with President Donald Trump’s administration, but said “nothing has come to fruition” at this point.
The former governor said he’s being considered for some part-time teaching opportunities at universities — he declined to say where — but those haven’t gotten too far because employers “have shown reluctance because of student protests.”
“That’s not the way our American system should operate — having people purged due to political thought,” McCrory said.
In his first state of the state address Monday night, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat who narrowly defeated McCrory in November, described HB2 as “the dark cloud hanging over our state of promise.”
He once again called on the general assembly to repeal the controversial law, which is unlikely to happen at this point, given Republicans hold majorities in the assembly.
In his response to Cooper’s address, state Senate leader Phil Berger (R) slammed the governor, whom he described as “the left’s new champion,” for sabotaging any real compromises between Republicans and Democrats.
“Gov. Cooper talks often of compromise, but works behind the scenes to kill real compromises,” he said.