Two candidates vying to be North Carolina’s next Governor have clashed over the state’s anti-LGBT law, HB2.

In a live televised debate on Tuesday (October 18), incumbent Republican Pat McCrory and his challenger Democrat Attorney General Roy Cooper argued over the impact discriminatory LGBT legislation was having on the state.

HB2, which is also known as the Bathroom Bill, limits local governments from introducing non-discrimination ordinances to protect LGBT people. It also forces trans people to use bathrooms that correspond with gender on their birth certificate.

McCrory said that the impact of HB2 was the fault of progressives and groups like the Human Rights Campaign.

“The left brought this issue up, not the right,” he said in the debate.

Without the bathroom directive passed in Charlotte, “I don’t think we would have had any problems because I don’t believe in any type of discrimination”.

The Federal Government is currently suing North Carolina over HB2, but a countersuit launched by the state was dropped earlier this year.

A number of other states have banned their employees from travelling there while HB2 is in effect.

McCrory added that he would be willing to introduce legislation preventing employment discrimination for LGBT people, but only if opponents to the Bathroom Bill agreed to continue to prevent trans people from using facilities that match their gender identity.

Cooper has continually hit out at HB2 and in his role as Attorney General and has refused to defend it in court.

He also promised that if he was elected, he would work to repeal the bill as soon as possible.

North Carolina has suffered national condemnation for being the first state to introduce anti-LGBT legislation.

Already, a number of entertainers and major sports events have withdrawn from the state.

Recently a newspaper that has supported McCrory for quarter of a century refused to endorse him over HB2.