North Carolina will soon hand over the gubernatorial reins to Democrat Roy Cooper, who already had his work cut out for him after both the GOP-led legislature and bitter loser Pat McCrory moved to limit his power. Now, lawmakers are undermining his recent announcement that the state would repeal its HB2 bathroom bill, which requires people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender at birth.
A deluge of similar bills surfaced over the summer, but North Carolina’s bill resulted in the most scorn. The law has prompted more boycotts (from entertainment and businesses) that anyone can count and the resulting loss of revenue is likely astronomical. However, legislators dragged their feet in a one-day special session that lasted for nine hours. In the end, Republicans couldn’t come to an agreement with Democratic leaders in Charlotte. Both sides blame each other, and the situation is complicated:
Republicans said they had proposed a clean swap: Charlotte would back down from the changes it made to its anti-discrimination ordinance in February, including new protections on the basis of gender identity, and the General Assembly would repeal H.B. 2.
But when Charlotte leaders met on Monday, they did not approve an absolute repeal of the ordinance they passed in February. Instead, to the ire of Republicans in state government, they left in certain provisions, including a part of the ordinance that empowered Charlotte’s community relations committee to “approve or disapprove plans to reduce or eliminate discrimination” with respect to familial status, gender expression, gender identity, marital status and sexual orientation.
Charlotte officials insisted they had no intentions of derailing their agreement — Robert E. Hagemann, the city attorney, said, “We’re not dumb enough to try to trick them or trap them” — but the dust-up offered some Republicans a new talking point that they seized with glee.
The two sides proposed the deal in order to save North Carolina from further economic damage as a result of the boycotts. McCrory (acting in good faith, according to lawmakers) set up the special session specifically to repeal HB2, and Cooper publicized the good vibes. Yet the deal fell apart, and both sides are angry as hell. Speaking to the NY Times, Democratic State Rep. Darren G. Jackson summarized the sad outcome: “We’ll continue to be the butt of national and international scorn.”
(Via New York Times)