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Some Big 'Ifs' In Proposal To Repeal HB 2

Tom Bullock

There is a chance House Bill 2 could be repealed, in its entirety, next week.

That’s according to both Governor Pat McCrory’s office and a North Carolina lobbying group. But there are some major hurdles to overcome, the first comes on Monday night.

Late Friday, The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association released a statement saying they’ve received assurances a special legislative session could be called as early as next week to repeal HB 2. But only if certain conditions are met.

First, the Charlotte City Council must vote on Monday to repeal their expanded non-discrimination ordinance that included LGBT protections and allowed transgender people to use the restroom of their choice.

Then, the governor's  office tells the Charlotte Observer, McCrory would call the legislature back to repeal – in full – HB 2, but only if it’s clear there are enough votes to kill the law.

Both of those conditions are big ifs.

In May, the Charlotte City Council was offered a similar, though not identical deal. They voted against the measure 7 to 4. The difference now is the full repeal of HB 2 is on the table. Still it’s not clear if that is enough to sway three council members to change their vote and override a possible veto by Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

And it’s not clear if there are enough Republican votes in the General Assembly for this plan to work.

Equality NC, an LGBT advocacy group isn’t buying this proposed détente. They too released a statement Friday night saying, “This is the same cheap trick the North Carolina General Assembly has attempted all along.”

But Republican State Senator Jeff Tarte of Mecklenburg County has a different view.

In a statement Tarte wrote, "There is an opportunity for both parties to repeal what they have done and show the world that we are ready to walk it back, save jobs, and start the healing process.”

Tom Bullock decided to trade the khaki clad masses and traffic of Washington DC for Charlotte in 2014. Before joining WFAE, Tom spent 15 years working for NPR. Over that time he served as everything from an intern to senior producer of NPR’s Election Unit. Tom also spent five years as the senior producer of NPR’s Foreign Desk where he produced and reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon among others. Tom is looking forward to finally convincing his young daughter, Charlotte, that her new hometown was not, in fact, named after her.