Updated: McCrory To Call Special Session To Consider House Bill 2 Repeal
Story updated at 2:15 p.m.
A statement issued by Republican legislative leaders accuses Gov.-elect Roy Cooper of trying to take credit for a possible repeal of House Bill 2. The joint statement from House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger also calls the original Charlotte ordinance that spurred HB2 a political stunt. Full statement posted below:
Today Roy Cooper and Jennifer Roberts proved what we said was the case all along: their efforts to force men into women’s bathrooms and shower facilities was a political stunt to drive out-of-state money into the governor’s race. For months, we’ve said if Charlotte would repeal its bathroom ordinance that created the problem, we would take up the repeal of HB2. But Roy Cooper is not telling the truth about the legislature committing to call itself into session – we’ve always said that was Gov. McCrory’s decision, and if he calls us back, we will be prepared to act. For Cooper to say otherwise is a dishonest and disingenuous attempt to take credit.
Story updated at 11:50 a.m.
Governor Pat McCrory's Press Office issued the following statement:
"Governor McCrory has always publicly advocated a repeal of the overreaching Charlotte ordinance. But those efforts were always blocked by Jennifer Roberts, Roy Cooper and other Democratic activists," said Graham Wilson, Press Secretary. "This sudden reversal with little notice after the gubernatorial election sadly proves this entire issue originated by the political left was all about politics and winning the governor’s race at the expense of Charlotte and our entire state. As promised, Governor McCrory will call a special session."
(Original story continues below.)
North Carolina legislators will repeal the contentious HB2 law that limited protections for LGBT people and led to an economic backlash, the state's incoming governor said Monday.
Gov.-elect Roy Cooper made the announcement shortly after the Charlotte City Council voted to repeal its own local ordinance enacted in early 2016. It was that ordinance that Republicans blamed for the statewide law.
"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 HB2 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 I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full," the Democrat said in a statement.
The repeal would be a remarkable sign of cooperation for the incoming governor and the GOP-controlled legislature. Just last week, lawmakers called a special session and stripped Cooper of some of his authority when he takes office next month.
The Charlotte council's move is contingent on North Carolina legislators fully repealing HB2 by Dec. 31.
HB2 requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding with the sex on their birth certificate in many public buildings. It also excludes sexual orientation and gender identity from statewide antidiscrimination protections.
McCrory and lawmakers have defended the bathroom provisions as providing privacy and safety by keeping men out of women's restrooms. Opponents of the law call it discriminatory.
Since HB2 passed in March, North Carolina has suffered a backlash that has included companies declining to expand in the state and cancellations of rock concerts. The NCAA and ACC have also moved college sports events out of the state.
This is a developing story. Article has been updated to add clarity and additional comments from public officials.