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Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson Says Republicans ‘Were Right About HB2’ – a Law That Cost NC $3B+ in Lost Business

Source: CBS 17

House Bill 2, better known as HB2 or the “bathroom bill,” is back in the news in North Carolina, and could be back in the law books if Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson wins the gubernatorial race in November, according to a speech he made in May.

CBS 17 reported that Robinson was speaking to supporters at a campaign event and private lunch hosted by RNC National Committeeman Ed Broyhill when he said that Republicans “were right about HB2.” Broyhill posted the 18-minute video of Robinson’s speech on YouTube but has since deleted it.

For anyone unfamiliar, HB2 was an extremely costly and controversial bill passed by the Republican-led legislature in 2016 and signed into law by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in March 2016 that legally required people to use the bathroom that matched their sex at birth and also blocked municipalities from passing non-discrimination ordinances.

The bill led to international embarrassment and billions of dollars in economic losses for our state after multiple corporations, movie studios, musicians and sports leagues refused to do business in North Carolina for years.

One year after the bill became law, the Associated Press ran an analysis that showed the bill would cost the state at least $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years.

In 2017, newly elected Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper helped push a repeal of the bathroom requirements in the bill just a few months into his first year in office, but the state economy had already lost nearly $3 billion, the AP reported at the time. The rest of the bill was repealed in 2020 when a remaining provision of the law expired.

Even knowing how costly the bill was for North Carolina’s reputation and economy, Robinson would still want to enforce a similar law.

“We were right on HB2 and continue to be right on it. The ideas that the left has is a bunch of foolishness. We don’t need to be ashamed to say it,” Robinson said at the lunch. He also talked about transgender women (he calls them “men”) going into women’s bathrooms and then presented attendees with a hypothetical scenario where their daughter loses “her [sports] scholarship to a biological man.”

This isn’t uncommon for Robinson, it’s just the most recent example of him expressing disdain for transgender people at a campaign event. Earlier this year Robinson repeatedly told crowds that transgender people who previously identified as male should be “arrested” if they go in a women’s bathroom.

At a campaign stop in Cary, Robinson said, “…if you’re a man on Friday night, and all the sudden on Saturday, you feel like a woman, and you want to go in the women’s bathroom in the mall, you will be arrested — or whatever we got to do to you.”

He made nearly identical comments at another stop in Greenville but added, “If you are confused, find a corner outside somewhere to go. We’re not tearing society down because of this.”

When CBS 17 reached out to Robinson’s campaign to ask about his HB2 comments, spokesperson Mike Lonergan said that “Mark Robinson won’t allow” anyone “to force women and girls to share restrooms and locker rooms with men.”

Morgan Hopkins, campaign spokesperson for Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein, who is running against Robinson, said that “Mark Robinson would repeat the failures of HB2: thousands of jobs lost, companies fleeing the state, and billions in losses for North Carolina’s economy. We’ve been down this road before, and it’s a dead end. Josh Stein’s vision for North Carolina is forward-looking and will create a welcoming economic climate for workers and businesses.”

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