Lt. Gov. Dan Forest appeared at a news conference in Texas on Monday morning to support a bill proposed there that’s similar to the North Carolina law on transgender people’s bathroom access.
Texas is about to debate a bill it calls Senate Bill 6, which would require people to use bathrooms in public schools and government buildings that correspond to their biological sex.
Forest, a Republican, is a backer of the North Carolina law called House Bill 2, which forbids local anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and requires people in government facilities to use bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates.
Gov. Roy Cooper and state legislators have for the last few months been trying to negotiate a repeal of HB 2. The state has lost sports events - including the NBA All-Star game, NCAA and ACC championship games - jobs, and professional conferences over the law. The N.C. Sports Association warned last month that the state would lose six years of NCAA championships if the law isn’t repealed.
But Forest said Monday that the “economic impact narrative” in North Carolina has been over blown.
“We are growing jobs,” Forest said. “Our economy is growing.” He equated the economic losses to one-tenth of one percent of the state’s annual GDP.
Forest’s office said neither state paid for his travel or accommodations.