North Carolina state legislator Billy Richardson was one of only 11 Democrats to vote in favor of the state’s new religious exemptions law that strips away nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people and mandates where transgender people can use the bathroom. Now Richardson says he regrets his vote in favor of discrimination and has joined the efforts to repeal the law.
In an op-ed published in the Fayetteville Observer, Richardson offers up his mea culpa, saying “I made the wrong vote and we must now make it right.”
My parents raised me to avoid any rush to judgment and to consider the consequences of my decisions. They stressed to me that I will make mistakes but, when made, never, never compound a mistake by sitting silent and failing to own up to the error.
Upon prayer and reflection, I have come to realize that I need to take action now. I will not be silent and allow North Carolina’s values to be undermined by the travesty that is HB2.
As a lawyer, I have stood with the defenseless because our Constitution says – actually demands – that all Americans have basic rights and, by protecting those rights, we can all truly share in the blessings of being an American.
Since our hasty vote on HB2, I have been haunted by the fact that in one rushed action, I undermined a lifetime of fighting against those who would demonize a group of citizens to gain political advantage and to advance an unjust agenda.”