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Governor Cooper is right. The HB2 “compromise” is no compromise. It would make a bad deal even worse.

The referendum provision sounds good. What’s wrong with letting people vote?

Plenty.

First is a matter of policy and principle.

As the Governor said, we shouldn’t put minority rights up to a majority vote. That’s like putting civil rights up to a vote in the South in the 1950s.

Second is a matter of politics.

We would end up with a series of local referendums across the state on bathrooms and gender. That would mean years of bitter, highly publicized battles all over North Carolina.

You could force a referendum by getting signatures from 10 percent of the total number of votes in the last municipal election – the lowest turnout possible.

In Raleigh, that would be 3,600 signatures. A ridiculously low threshold.

This scenario may well be what Republicans want. Or think they want. They miscalculated on HB2 a year ago.

But it’s a formula for more discrimination, more divisiveness and more distraction from real problems. Plus more damage to North Carolina’s economy, more jobs lost, more business lost and more sports events lost.

The fake compromise should be flushed.

 

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