It looks like Pat McCrory’s campaign has found another wedge issue that might trip up Roy Cooper: bathrooms. Specifically, whether accommodations should be made for transgender individuals to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.

The governor wants Cooper, in his position as Attorney General, to join South Carolina in filing an amicus brief in opposition to the Obama administration and the Department of Justice, who want to force a school board in Virginia to let a transgender (female at birth) student use the men’s restroom. This would be an ideal case for proponents of “restroom equality” as I imagine male-to-female transgenders predominate and tend to elicit sharper reactions.

While it’s another potential minefield for Roy Cooper, it doesn’t look like his campaign is taking the bait. Yesterday they released a statement addressing the issue, saying: “Last week Governor McCrory was raising money off people fleeing terror but skipped out on an important security briefing. This week, he’s found another group to politicize. Adolescence is hard enough without being bullied by an elected official. Next week, who knows who’ll be the target of a governor whose only path to re-election is dividing North Carolina.”

Which is a pretty effective counter in the era of the 24-hour news cycle. It brings up McCrory’s skipping a security briefing while also expressing solidarity with the thousands of adolescents who get their heads dunked in high school toilets each day. It paints the issue as purely a distraction.

All well and good. But curiously, Cooper’s spokesman alludes to Syrian refugees “fleeing terror.” This is the language of someone who supports relocating the refugees in America, not someone who endorses a “pause.” And second, we’re left without any indication as to Cooper’s position on the issue. His office has rejected McCrory’s call to join the suit, but they haven’t explained their reasoning. To join the suit would be politically untenable as it would enrage the powerful gay lobby in the state, and nobody is expecting Cooper to do that. At the same time, it would be nice to get some clarification on the matter.

Where do you stand, Roy?


  1. keith

    While I agree that Cooper’s non-response on Syrian refugees is probably politically motivated, from a public policy standpoint his position is as irrelevant as McRory’s and I assure you the governor’s motivation is pure politics. NC government officials have no more say than other states’ officials in where these refugees go, other than an affirmative opportunity to help them settle in NC.

  2. Norma Munn

    Why not solve this problem (outside of schools, which do pose some serious challenges) and have unisex bathrooms? As for schools, has any school tried unisex bathrooms? Locker rooms for sports teams — I honestly don’t know what is best. BUT, as a campaign “issue”, I am very certain that it will not sway my vote. What it does do is reinforce the McCrory image as a man unable to focus on serious issues facing this state –AGAIN.

  3. Brad

    My head continues to explode. This is what passes for political discourse in our state? God help us all.

  4. Apply Liberally

    So, Mr. Wynne, by your words, one can only assume that you believe Syrian refugees are not “fleeing terror,” but rather have some other motivation in mind?? Your comment suggests that you believe fear of terror is somehow not a legitimate reason for people to leave their native land.

    So, please go ahead and elaborate on that view for us? If you dare, of course……

  5. Randy Voller

    Perhaps Karl Rove is providing advice. 🙂

  6. Russell S. Day (@Transcendian)

    In a state with every conceivable physical blessing, poverty is 25 percent. So then the Governor declares a policy related to international relations counter to that of the Union. Then further he jumps to an issue that is essentially petty. In such a case as who gets to use what bathroom you might think it would be fitting of the school Principal to take care of this.
    It is a great deal easier to think about Syrian draft dodgers fleeing service in Assad’s army than it is to think about what makes a paradise rot.
    Neither NC Democrats, or NC Republicans are serving the people of North Carolina.
    I am working so that soon I will make myself heard as the leader of the Transcendian International Party.
    It is a wonderful thing for me to live in North Carolina. The mental landscape is perfectly reactionary and oppressive for honest working people who are trained from the earliest never to think for themselves.
    Where live those whose politics conflict most in image with the East and Western parts of the state, the land is worth double or four times as much as anywhere else.
    What that means is that where there is the most tolerant and inclusive citizenry, is where real estate agents and brokers make the most money selling lots to Yankee invaders.
    They then do all possible to run out of town the working people, and abandon the rest of the state to their fate.
    Hate is the prevailing wind sweeping the nation. Hate and fear.
    Our Governor is a petty and pretty man with a nice dog. Our Legislature is reactionary and willfully ignorant.
    A quarter of our people live in the grind of poverty. Every stupid and mean ideology thrives, as it has for over two centuries.
    Every single Republican in NC signed a pledge to some little man, some twisted little lobbyist, and that is what they have as an honor.
    Jefferson Davis was captured wearing a dress. I could care less where he went to the bathroom, but I am sure Governor McCory would let him in his.

  7. Nortley

    Wow! So this is the issued McCroy taps to divert attention from his abysmal failure as governor? Sure would love to know how he sleeps at night.

  8. sp00klawlessPhil Lawless

    McCrory’s people obviously paid attention to the strategy that defeated Houston’s equal rights ordinance.

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