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Big business throws its weight behind overturn of NC anti-trans ‘bathroom bill’

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A coalition of businesses united to oppose North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2, the Republican-led legislation aimed at forcing transgender people to use restrooms that correspond to their birth gender rather than their expressed gender.

According to Time magazine, the coalition — led by former George W. Bush advisor turned LGBT rights advocate Ted Olson — filed a friend of the court brief on Friday opposing H.B. 2 as discriminatory.

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The 68 companies — including United Airlines, American Airlines, Apple, Dropbox, eBay, Hilton Hotels, IBM and others — maintain that H.B. 2 runs counter to their non-discrimination and pro-diversity policies. The law, they say, is bad for business and sends an ugly message to LGBT consumers.

“HB2 is a law that forces transgender persons to deny, disclaim and conceal their gender identity, particularly whenever they wish to use single-sex restroom facilities on state or local government property,” Olson wrote in the 44-page brief. “In so doing, it forces transgender people to deny a fundamental feature of their character and personhood in the name of safety concerns that are wholly illusory and a slap in the face to all transgender persons who are simply trying to live their lives consistent with who they really are.”

The filing continued, “H.B. 2 discriminates against the roughly 44,000 transgender people in North Carolina by denying them access to single-sex facilities that accord with their gender identity but not their biological sex whenever they set foot in a facility owned or operated by any agency or arm of the State or a local government. In so doing, H.B. 2 sends a resounding message to the public that transgender persons—people simply trying to live their lives consistent with who they are—are ‘other’ and outcasts whose gender identity and human dignity are undeserving of recognition and respect on government property,” the companies write. “It is no accident that H.B. 2’s anti-transgender message and effects have prompted some commentators to coin it the most anti-LGBT legislation in the country.”

North Carolina’s Tea Party Gov. Pat McCrory has held firm in his support of H.B. 2 — which Republican lawmakers trotted out after a rushed 12-hour legislative session — in the face of widespread opposition.

Lawmakers are walking back one part of the law, the lesser known statute which prohibits any person from suing the state’s municipalities on the basis of employment discrimination.

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Rights advocates say that the modifications to the law are insufficient, that it still willfully discriminates against an entire class of citizens and is unconstitutional.

“This was just one of the incredible mistakes made in the passage of House Bill 2,” said Greensboro Democrat Chris Sgro on the House floor in June. “I am woefully embarrassed that this is the result of two-and-a-half months of conversation about the most disastrous piece of legislation in the state’s history.”

Time’s Philip Elliott wrote, “One study has estimated the North Carolina law has cost the economy $500 million and 1,750 jobs. Other studies have estimated the figures are lower, varying from $77 million to $200 million. Companies like PayPal and Deutsche Bank have scrapped plans to expand in the state, and the U.K. has warned its LGBT residents against visiting North Carolina.”

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“The fact that Olson and so many leading American businesses have come together on this brief demonstrates the breadth and depth of opposition to legislation as illegal, unfair and dangerous as HB2,” said Chad Griffin, president LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).


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FBI investigating possible ‘criminal enterprise’ in Jeffrey Epstein’s jailhouse death

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The director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed that the FBI was investigating whether Jeffrey Epstein's death was related to a criminal enterprise.

Two correctional officers, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were arrested and charged Tuesday with falsifying prison records to cover up their lapses in their official duties, which included checking on Epstein every half hour, reported the Miami Herald.

The officers instead remained at their desk, browsing the internet and moving around the common area.

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Trump mounts sexist attack on Pelosi during impeachment hearing: ‘I think the woman is grossly incompetent’

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President Donald Trump attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from the White House on Tuesday.

As impeachment testimony was underway in the House, Trump told reporters in a Cabinet meeting that Pelosi is "grossly incompetent."

The president also said that Republicans are "killing it" in the impeachment hearings.

But Trump took a shot at Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an expert on Ukraine who was testifying at the time.

"I don't know him. ... I never saw the man," he said. "I understand now he wears his uniform when he goes in. No, I don't know Vindman at all. What I do know is that even he said that the transcript was correct."

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‘You ran out of a book signing!’ Donald Trump Jr torn to shreds for questioning Vindman’s heroism

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Donald Trump Jr. questioned the military service of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and was sprayed with venom.

The president's eldest son posted a link to a Federalist article suggesting Vindman is not a dedicated military officer and public servant, a line of questioning which Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also pursued during an impeachment hearing.

"Let’s Stop Pretending Every Impeachment Witness Is A Selfless Hero," Trump Jr. tweeted, quoting the piece's headline.

Let’s Stop Pretending Every Impeachment Witness Is A Selfless Hero https://t.co/f2Jq7SdxO9

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