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Roy Cooper: NC General Assembly Will Meet Tuesday To Repeal HB2

Charlotte Government Center
Instagram.com/cltgov/

CharlotteObserver.com

Following a surprise move by the Charlotte City Council, Gov.-elect Roy Cooper said Monday that Legislative leaders have promised him to call a special session Tuesday to repeal House Bill 2.

“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,” Cooper said in a statement. “I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full.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.”

Cooper’s announcement followed the Charlotte City Council’s 10-0 vote Monday morning to rescind the LGBT ordinance that prompted House Bill 2.

[READ MORE: Understanding HB2]

[READ MORE: Understanding the origin of Charlotte's 'bathroom law']

The council was meeting at a breakfast meeting called to discuss its legislative agenda.

Mayor Jennifer Roberts and council members had considered a similar deal earlier in the year but had rejected it. In May, council members voted against taking a symbolic repeal of its ordinance in hopes that the legislature would repeal HB2.

Roberts on Monday was in the difficult position of defending the repeal. She said the vote “should in no way be viewed as a compromise of our principles or commitment to non-discrimination.”

But earlier this year, and as recently as last week, the mayor said that LGBT rights weren’t negotiable. Local and national gay rights organizations had also adamantly opposed a symbolic repeal vote.

Republican council member Kenny Smith, who is considering running for mayor, said after Monday’s vote that the Democratic-controlled council was “playing politics” with the decision. He said the same deal has been available for months, but that

Mayor Jennifer Roberts called it the first concrete opportunity to repeal HB2, though Republican council member Kenny Smith said a similar deal had been in place for months. The law, which limits LGBT rights, has been cited as the reason for millions in lost economic development and boycotts by the NCAA and others.

A statement from the city said, “Charlotte continues its commitment to be a welcoming community that honors and respects all people.

“The Charlotte City Council recognizes the ongoing negative economic impact resulting from the passage of the City’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance and the State’s House Bill 2. The Council acknowledges that North Carolina House Bill 2 “supersede(s) and preempt(s)” the City’s Ordinance.

“In order to continue thriving as an inclusive community and compete for high paying jobs and world-class events, the City and State must take action together to restore our collective reputation.

There was no advance notice that the ordinance would be discussed. WBTV, the Observer’s news partner, was the first to report it.

There is no indication that there is, or isn’t, a quid pro quo with the General Assembly.

There have been an attempts to broker a compromise in which the city would rescind the ordinance passed earlier this year that extends non-discrimination protections for members of the LGBT community and the legislature would repeal HB2.

By itself, the move will not have any immediate impact on the status of lawsuits against the law by the federal government and the American Civil Liberties Union, among other groups.

That, however, could change on Tuesday when the General Assembly is expected to go back into special session to rescind the law, which has cost the state thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in industrial expansions, concerts and sporting event, and has placed North Carolina center stage in a divisive culture war.

By itself, the move will not have any immediate impact on the status of lawsuits against the law by the federal government and the American Civil Liberties Union, among other groups.

That, however, could change on Tuesday when the General Assembly is expected to go back into special session to rescind the law, which has cost the state thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in industrial expansions, concerts and sporting event, and has placed North Carolina center stage in a divisive culture war.