North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law set to be repealed as new Governor agrees compromise deal
North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law is set to be repealed this week, as part of a compromise deal that required the city of Charlotte agreed to axe anti-discrimination protections.
North Carolina has lost a string of big investment ventures over Governor Pat McCrory’s decision to sign the contentious HB2, which voided all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, banned transgender people from using their preferred bathroom, and permits businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.
McCrory was defeated by Democratic challenger Roy Cooper in last month’s election, but as Republicans maintained control of both houses of the state legislature, the likelihood of repealing the law without cross-party support remained low.
In light of the election result, a compromise deal brokered by Cooper was reluctantly agreed this week, with Republicans agreeing to repeal the law in return for the City of Charlotte axing its LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance.
The Democrat-controlled Charlotte City Council has already lived up to its end of the deal, passing a bill to repeal its LGBT anti-discrimination protections today, in exchange for the lifting of the state law. A clause in Charlotte’s bill means that its protections will come back into effect if state lawmakers fail to honour their end of the deal.
State lawmakers are now expected to repeal HB2 once-and-for-all within the next few days.
Governor-elect Roy Cooper said: “Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore assured me that as a result of Charlotte’s vote, a special session will be called for Tuesday to repeal HB 2 in full.
“I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full.
“Full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state.”
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Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro said: “The problem has never been Charlotte. Charlotte’s ordinance was a best practice employed in hundreds of cities across the country.
“The Charlotte City Council and mayor did the right thing by passing their ordinance – HB2 is wrong.
“Since its passage, the deeply discriminatory HB2 has hurt our economy and people.
“Now, the General Assembly must fully repeal HB2 so that we can start the necessary talks for protecting LGBTQ people and bring back businesses across the state. We look forward to working with Governor-elect Cooper to win protections community by community and statewide.”
HRC President Chad Griffin said: “Governor-elect Cooper has briefed us on a deal he brokered with state lawmakers to reach a complete and total repeal of HB2.
“HB2 is precisely why North Carolinians went to the polls and ousted Governor McCrory last month.
“It’s time to chart a new course guided by the state’s values of dignity and respect, not discrimination and hate — and to ensure non-discrimination protections exist in cities, towns and across the state of North Carolina.
“It’s been 271 days since the shameful and archaic HB2 was first passed, and the entire country has witnessed its devastating impact. It’s time for state lawmakers to repeal HB2 and begin repairing the harm this bill has done to people and the damage it has done to North Carolina’s reputation and economy.”