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NASCAR does not support N.C. anti-LGBT law, chairman says

NASCAR comes out in opposition of House Bill 2.
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The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the latest organization to rev up against the anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2 (HB2), in North Carolina.

Brian France, the chairman of NASCAR said in a statement to the Associated Press that his company doesn’t set legislation, but has no tolerance for bigotry.

“We take the position that any discrimination, unintended or not, we do not like that and we are working behind the scenes, and we are not a political institution,” he said. “We don’t set agendas or write laws but we express our values to policy makers. We will and we do. We are real clear about that.”

Although their official headquarters is located in Daytona Beach, Florida, they also have offices in Charlotte and Concord, North Carolina.

France said that NASCAR doesn’t want to overstate their position, but they still want their voice to be heard.

“We try to be part of a solution, not a bunch a threats truthfully; but we are very direct and we do our civic part,” said France. “We like to think we take a lot of out of communities and run events and do business in North Carolina and so when asked to put back into these communities and be part of big and small decisions, we want to be there, but we are one small piece of the fabric. We want to play our role but not overstate our role.”

House Bill 2 is a law that was signed by Governor Pat McCrory in a special session on March 23 that removes protections from the LGBT community and forces transgender people to only utilize restrooms that correlate with their biological sex.

In 2003, NASCAR got its first openly gay driver, Stephen Rhodes, a North Carolina native. In a March, 2015 interview for Lavender magazine, Rhodes said NASCAR evolved since his debut over a deacde ago. 

"NASCAR, like most sports, has come a long way," he said. "It is 2015, not 2003 anymore. We all as humans have come to a better place of respect and understanding. It still isn’t easy all the time but I think as a community we’ve even grown on how to react or deal with situations when we run into others that aren’t comfortable with accepting it."