North Carolina lawmaker Billy Richardson publicly regretted the vote he cast in favor of the controversial House Bill 2 (HB2), which was widely seen as discriminating against LGBT rights. The Republican state representative used the Fayetteville Observer to pen a mea culpa about voting for the bill. Backlash from the bill’s passing included rock star Bruce Springsteen cancelling a concert in the state and CEOs of big companies reversing decisions to open up shop in North Carolina.
Calling the bill a “travesty,” Richardson quotes Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in reconsidering his hasty vote. Kennedy wrote that “we must never make any group of citizens a stranger to the laws of their own state.” But Richardson’s reversal was triggered by an influence even more powerful than Kennedy or Springsteen: his parents. Richardson says his parents raised him better than to have voted for HB2 in the first place:
“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.”