RALEIGH, N.C. — Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh said Friday that a new state law that limits discrimination protections for gay and transgender people concerns him.
Burbidge hadn’t spoken publicly previously on House Bill 2, although he issued a statement in February calling for state lawmakers to overturn a Charlotte ordinance allowing transgender people to use public bathrooms that align with their gender identity. The resulting House Bill 2 did that, but it also prohibits protections against discrimination for the LGBT community, prevents cities from setting their own minimum wage and eliminated the ability for workers to sue in state courts for job discrimination.
The bishop, whose diocese covers the eastern half of North Carolina, said he supports parts of the law but said the General Assembly needs to rework it.
“It’s not meant to be bigoted,” he said. "It’s mean to create an environment the community thinks is appropriate, but obviously, there is some misconception and there’s some misunderstanding and at least should be talked about.
“It is difficult, but I hope lawmakers will talk to each other and listen,” he continued. “They can come up with something better, I think.”