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Politics

Council Members Say GOP's HB2 Compromise Is 'No Deal'

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Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts spoke at a press conference Monday morning.

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and some city council members have rejected a compromise that state Republican leaders offered on the controversial House Bill 2. They said they have no plans to vote Monday night on repealing their expansion of the city’s non-discrimination ordinance, which prompted the law.

Gov. Pat McCrory said Friday he’ll call a special legislative session this week to repeal HB 2, which limits protections for LGBT people. But there's a catch - Republicans want the City Council to repeal its ordinance changes first.

At a press conference Monday morning, Council Member John Autry said the compromise "isn’t a deal." He called on lawmakers to act first.

"This is not the city council’s issue," Autry said outside Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. "The North Carolina general assembly does not need the Charlotte City Council’s permissions to take the action that they should be compelled to do now."

In an interview later, he added: "It’s the same old routine they attempted back in May to deflect and divert blame to the Charlotte City Council ... It’s a circular logic. We’ll repeal our ban on LGBT protections if you repeal your LGBT protections." 

The Charlotte City Council rejected a similar attempt at a compromise in May. Mayor Roberts says the issue won't be on the agenda for Monday's meeting.

She applauded the governor and also urged the General Assembly to take action soon.

“The City of Charlotte continues its commitment to be a welcoming community that honors and respects all people," Roberts said. "We appreciate the state wanting to find a solution to the challenges we are facing and applaud the governor for recognizing the state should overturn HB 2, which the state can do at any time without any action from the City of Charlotte. We are not prepared to add this item to our agenda this evening, however, we urge the state to take action as soon as possible and encourage continued dialogue with the broader community.”

Republican leaders offered their compromise Friday after more organizations pulled events from North Carolina citing HB 2. Both the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference said they'll move end-of-season championships elsewhere, costing millions of dollars in lost business..

Republicans say they think they can get enough support, if the Charlotte council acts, too.   

State Sen. Jeff Tarte of Cornelius voted for House Bill 2, but he’s now calling for a repeal. He told WFAE Morning Edition Host Marshall Terry the backlash against HB2 shows it fails two key litmus tests for good legislation.

One, it should have no surprises and two, you should minimize the unintended consequences. And what we’re finding is  And what we’re finding is there a lot of consequences we didn’t anticipate.

You can listen to the full interview with Tarte on WFAE.org