North Carolina Governor continues to push for repeal of anti-trans HB2
The new Governor of North Carolina has said that previously failed efforts to repeal a bill which limits transgender bathroom use and rights could still be possible.
Governor Roy Cooper, who took over from Governor Pat McCrory last year, spoke at a Martin Luther King JK Day event in Charlotte, to say that efforts by legislators to repeal HB2 could still go ahead.
The Governor told reporters that he has already spoken with the Republican Senate leader over the bill, which has already cost the state a great deal of money including big businesses, as well as high profile music and sporting events.
“We’ve had it out. A couple of times, we’ve talked,” the Governor told reporters.
“They certainly do want to move forward in some way.”
Legislators, he said, will want a majority of GOP lawmakers to sign up to support HB2’s repeal before they go ahead with a vote.
“My argument to them is that there are enough overall votes -even if you don’t have a majority [in the] Republican caucuses – to pass repeal. And I’m urging them to do so. It’s too important to our state,” he added.
HB2 was passed last March in response to a local ordinance in Charlotte, which protected the rights of trans people to use gender-appropriate public bathrooms.
But the state-wide law HB2 rolled back any local ordinances protecting against discrimination based on gender identity and banned local authorities from reintroducing them.
It also dictated that residents of North Carolina could only use a restroom which corresponds to the sex stated on their birth certificate.
Back in December, at a special legislative session called to repeal HB2, efforts to do so collapsed amid negotiations between lawmakers.
Governor Cooper has advised that Charlotte not re-introduce its city-wide law to protect LGBT people, in an effort to appease Republicans in the state government to still push ahead with a repeal of HB2.
“Charlotte has taken the step that Republican leaders wanted them to take, and now we need to keep pushing the legislature. The ball’s in their court. It’s time for them to act,” Cooper said.
“I don’t see that there’s any need for [Charlotte City Council] to [re-enact the ordinance], no.”
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.
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.