A Georgia Republican backed an anti-LGBT law at the center of a red-hot controversy in North Carolina – calling it a principled stand – and hoped for the failure of ACC championships pulled from that state and moved to his own.
The ACC announced Tuesday that it made good on its promise to yank post-season championships from North Carolina over House Bill 2. That measure, signed into law in March, gutted an LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination ordinance passed in Charlotte, prevented any city in the state from passing similar measures, and banned transgender people from using restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
So the ACC, following the lead of the NCAA, removed several conference tournaments from North Carolina and relocated three of them – the Women’s Swimming & Diving/Men’s Diving Championships, Men’s Swimming Championships and Men’s & Women’s Tennis Championships – to sites in Atlanta and Rome.
Sen. Fran Millar (photo), a Dunwoody Republican, responded by urging fans not to attend the events in Georgia.
“I hope few people will attend these events,” Millar wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday, according to the AJC.
Millar is a member of the Senate Rules Committee that approved a sweeping anti-gay bill in February that plunged the state into controversy before Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed it. So when he wished ill on the ACC events, he was just warming up.
His Facebook rant continued by calling the anti-LGBT law in North Carolina a principled stand. Then, he trotted out the same tired line used by other Georgia Republicans when they were criticized for passing an anti-gay bill earlier this year – LGBT people have it worse in other countries so a little discrimination here is OK.
“We are taking advantage of a state that stood by its principles and I find it shameful. The hypocrisy of the ACC with its sponsors being located in countries that outwardly allow discrimination makes its action against North Carolina a joke.”
We asked the Dunwoody Republican if he intended to organize a boycott against the ACC events, and he said that’s not where he was going with his blast.
“I just don’t like taking advantage of someone that did the right thing in the eyes of most people,” he said. “People can do what they want, but I won’t be there.”
Georgia Unites Against Discrimination, a bipartisan group that opposed anti-gay bills in the state legislature, said it’s Millar’s actions that are shameful. The group blasted his comments in an alert sent to supporters on Thursday.
What's shameful is to suggest that state-sanctioned discrimination against transgender people is “principled.” Sen. Fran Millar needs to know his anti-LGBT rhetoric is NOT going to fly.
The group also said that the economic fallout from HB2 shows that Millar’s position could be harmful to Georgia’s economy.
If Sen. Fran Millar wants to talk about principles, we can. A principled lawmaker should be celebrating major business investments in our state. A principled lawmaker should be advocating on behalf of hardworking Georgians to pass inclusive policies that make our state an even more competitive place to do business.
A principled lawmaker should NOT be risking millions of dollars and thousands of jobs just to advance legislation to codify LGBT discrimination into law. Senator Millar needs to put his personal beliefs aside and start working for what’s best for Georgia voters.
Georgia Republicans have promised more anti-gay legislation next year. Apparently, Millar is ready to lead the charge with a new slogan – Make Georgia More Like North Carolina. Nevermind that economic blowback or that it’s likely to cost Gov. Pat McCrory his job in November.