Durham event raises awareness of House Bill 2

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – For years, Bob Lynch yearned to live in North Carolina.

“I’ve been thinking about, dreaming about North Carolina for 20-25 years,” Lynch said Sunday.

Lynch made that dream come true, and is now living in Durham.

But after House Bill 2 passed, he had questions – and concerns.

He told CBS North Carolina, “It’s like, ‘What is my state doing?’”

He said he wanted to know “why the opponents of the bill aren’t talking about the larger aspects – housing discrimination, job discrimination.”

After taking a poll from its members, the Durham Chamber of Commerce decided Lynch wasn’t the only one with questions concerning HB2.

“The process around it is not going to be a one and done situation,” said the Chamber’s John White.  “At the end of the day we have to help people understand what is they’re hearing and they’re reading.”

That’s where “Free 2 B” comes in.  The chamber assembled a panel of four, including a former lawmaker and a transgender student, Jasper Christie.

“When people can hear personal accounts of how the bill is impacting trans people, I think it’s such an important message,” Christie said.

While the chamber has taken a position in opposition of the bill, they wanted this community conversation to be objective and for people to be open-minded.

“This issue is something that’s impacting our community, so at the end of the day, we had to take a step back after making that position and say, ‘how can we be the most helpful?’ We can be most helpful be providing objective information,” White said.

For more information, visit: Free2BDurham.org.

Story by Lauren Haviland Lhaviland@wncn.com

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