Columnist and activist Dan Savage accused North Carolina's HB2 -- which scuttled local statutes banning discrimination against the LGBT communities -- of having its roots in decades-old paranoia.
"They're just repackaging old crap in a brand new bag," Savage told MSNBC host Chris Hayes on Monday. "It used to be, early in the beginning of the gay rights movement -- before it became the LGBT civil rights movement -- that social conservatives would scream and yell about predatory gay men going into bathrooms, seducing boys, raping boys, preying on boys. They've just taken that, and now they say it's predatory straight men."
The bill, which was signed into effect by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) last week, bans trans residents from using restrooms according to their gender identity. Because McCrory faced re-election and a conservative electorate, Savage said, the governor "was willing to knife vulnerable people in his state for political advantage."
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) vetoed a similar bill, Savage argued, because he "had some time to think about it," and also because his state was already facing boycott threats from major companies as well as AMC, which shoots the popular Walking Dead series in the state.
While the North Carolina bill is already facing a legal challenge, Savage said, McCrory has yet to face the brunt of the backlash this type of legislation will invite, from not only activists, but his state's universities.
"Universities like to be able to attract talent, and a lot of that talent is lesbian, gay, bi, or trans. And a lot of people are not gonna move to a state where they are not allowed to use the goddamn bathroom," Savage said.
Watch the interview, as aired on Monday, below.