I spent Wednesday standing shoulder to shoulder with Equality North Carolina and their partners as we worked to repeal House Bill 2, the devastating law passed last spring that forces transgender people to use restrooms that don’t match who they are and prohibits cities from protecting their communities with nondiscrimination ordinances.
Unfortunately, we failed.
Republican leaders in the General Assembly had agreed to a deal with Governor Pat McCrory, Governor-Elect Roy Cooper, and the city of Charlotte: in exchange for Charlotte repealing its ordinance that was nullified by HB2, the legislature would fully repeal HB2 in a special session with no strings attached. Though Charlotte should never have been asked to repeal their ordinance, they did so in good faith to facilitate the elimination of this awful law.
After hours and hours of Republican caucus meetings Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger broke their word and offered only HB2 by another name: repeal coupled with an indefinite moratorium on local nondiscrimination ordinances that they hinted would be made permanent. Fortunately, this fake repeal was defeated, but the opportunity to do the right thing and fully repeal was gone.
Failure to repeal House Bill 2 leaves LGBTQ North Carolinians vulnerable and ensures the state will continue to suffer economic consequences as companies take their business elsewhere. Other states should take heed of the repercussions North Carolina will sadly continue to face.
Through our Legislative Action Center, Equality Federation will be working with our state partners to ensure no other state passes vicious attacks on LGBTQ people. We already know legislators in at least six states are proposing HB2-like bills and we cannot allow them to succeed. And, we will continue to stand with Equality North Carolina until HB2 is fully repealed and comprehensive nondiscrimination protections are passed.
Happy holidays! We’re ready to stand with you in 2017.
Senior Director of Programs
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