Critics argue the bill limits rights of the LGBT community and the fight from people on both sides of the issue has been taking center stage in North Carolina for weeks. Much of that fight has been right outside the Executive Mansion on Blount Street in Downtown Raleigh.
But Wednesday night, the protest from critics took a very loud turn as dozens of people simultaneously sounded off air horns for several minutes across the street from the mansion. The protest itself was short, but as those driving by honked their horns in support, organizers feel it was effective.
"I think the message getting out of this state is pretty loud and clear," said one of the protest organizers, Grayson Haver Currin.
This so-called "air horn chorus" is part of the latest move from opponents of the bill who say it hurts the LGBT community. The group sounded off those horns one day after Gov. Pat McCrory issued an executive order to amend the bill to expand protections for state employees to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
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But Haver Currin said the order isn't enough and calls it, "More or less a cop out meant to nullify voters for November."
The group's loud protest came just hours after yet another entertainer canceled a North Carolina concert in protest of the bill. In a statement, Ringo Starr announced on Wednesday that he canceled his June concert in Cary because "we need to take a stand against this hatred."
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Those in support of HB2 say the growing list of cancellations still should not deter lawmakers.
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"Musicians and Corporations who choose to withdraw from North Carolina as a state consistently in the top five states in which to do business, are only doing so to their detriment and their own pocket books. Bullying a state for protecting the safety of women and children is shameful and will not be tolerated," said NC Values Coalition spokesperson Kami Mueller.
The protest outside the Executive Mansion lasted only a few minutes, and it was peaceful as law enforcement officers watched. The group's organizers said they had a conversation with police beforehand about the protest to clarify where the group could stand in reference to the mansion.
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