Catholic bishop says HB2 needs to be rewritten


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.”



HB2 is interesting. In addition to the bathroom issue, it also prohibits local governments for setting minimum wage requirements for companies they might contract with and it added the term of ‘biological’ to sex as a protected class for employment purposes.

I am not sure what these two issues have to do with bathrooms.


Lawmakers like to attach unrelated bills that they want passed to more popular bills. Take for example, in NY, we have a longstanding law that makes it a crime to interfere with a religious service or reproductive health services. Yep, same exact statute. What do they have to do with one another? Nothing but an agenda…


It is nice to see NC is trying to inject some sanity into an insane world.


Thank you for mentioning this, Ive known about this for awhile, back when we all learned lawmakers do not actually read the entire bill front to back, so sneaky as it is, things ‘attached’ to it, may go unseen and get passed thru, by the time anyone notices it, its too late and already in effect.

But I never understood, if some can do this, why hasnt republicans tried this with anything related to abortion? Why is it the only things that get passed like this only benefit one party in general?


It’s too little, too late for this. Now that there are lawsuits being filed the law must be supported as is or scrapped entirely. Backing down now and changing the law will be seen as the NC government caving in like Gov. Pence did in Indiana and probably won’t stave off the lawsuits from the federal government anyway. They want the law repealed in its entirety.

I agree with the bishop that the law isn’t perfect and could have been better written to stave off some of the criticisms, but at this point there is no middle ground because if NC doesn’t fight to the finish with the federal government then it will be seen as a worse defeat than a loss in court and then your chances of getting anything meaningful passed are done for.


This is vague. What exactly is not good about the law such that the legislature can come up with something better? I don’t know if the article is accurate but if you are going to wade into this issue it is important to be clear about it.

NC shouldn’t cave and I don’t think will. But I do wonder what will happen when the courts eventually overturn this law (not by applying sound logic but by activism). Between this and same sex ‘marriage’ being forced on us they are creating a lot of animosity. The marriage issue might be less of a problem then this, because I think more people feel like this is an issue that will personally affect them whether it be directly or their wife or kids. The real danger is if people start to realize their vote doesn’t count for much. That pacifies the people. If the people ever wake up to reality the political landscape could quickly change.


I agree that the bill needs to be rewritten. Charlotte overstepped its boundaries forcing the state’s hand. The bill as it stands is unenforceable. Nobody carries their birth certificate with them.
There are specific protocols in place to protect young children from predators. In light of scandals the Catholic Church has faced in recent years, it is particular cognizant of these protocols that include criminal background checks for catechists and others working with young children.
I don’t think that anybody ever wanted a bathroom law to regulate who should or should not use which bathroom. Social norms have provided enough regulation in the past. I would like to see the governor invite the Democrats to come up with a bill that would keep the professional protocols currently in place that protect young children that a predominantly Republican legislation would be as unanimously willing to pass as they did HB2.


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