North Carolina General Assembly to Convene Special Session to Consider HB2 Repeal

By Adam Polaski • December 19, 2016 • 12:35 pm

The North Carolina General Assembly will convene a special session tomorrow to consider repeal of HB 2, the damaging law that banned transgender people from using public restrooms and eradicated local LGBT nondiscrimination protections.

Governor-elect Roy Cooper announced that HB 2 would be taken up by a special session tomorrow, and outgoing Governor Pat McCrory called for the session earlier this morning, according to the Charlotte Observer.

The move to ditch HB 2 comes after a year of painful economic and political consequences dating back to the hurried passage and enactment of the anti-LGBT law, which came about during a March special session after the city of Charlotte passed LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination protections. HB 2 has cost North Carolina about one billion dollars in lost revenue to date, and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Gov. McCrory lost his re-election bid because of his stubborn support for the law in a direct message from voters eager for a change in leadership. Other GOP candidates, including President-elect Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Richard Burr, easily won their races. Governor-elect Roy Cooper opposed the law from the outset.

Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe said today:

“HB 2 has cost North Carolina jobs and revenue for almost a year now – it’s unfortunate that it took Governor McCrory losing his own job because of the law to finally spur the General Assembly into action. Nonetheless, we’re encouraged that lawmakers finally appear ready to correct the wrongs of HB 2 and fully repeal this discriminatory law, once and for all. Tomorrow, lawmakers must act decisively. Over the coming weeks and months, we look forward to working with Governor-elect Cooper to ensure that measures targeting the LGBT community for harm are non-starters in North Carolina.”

The economic backlash to HB 2 began immediately: PayPal, Deutsche Bank and CoStar canceled planned expansions into North Carolina, costing the state hundreds of millions in investments and eviscerating planned job growth. Athletic organizations including the NBA, NCAA and ACC pulled high-profile sporting events from the state because of the General Assembly’s refusal to repeal the law.

McTighe added: “From day one, HB 2 was a needless solution in search of a problem. Charlotte did the right thing when they passed a fully inclusive LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance. Charlotte taking steps to bolster their local economy and protect their LGBT citizens was never the problem. The General Assembly’s eagerness to hastily pass a blatantly discriminatory law – and their refusal to listen to those who disagreed – is what cost the state one billion dollars.”

Chris Sgro, Executive Director of Equality NC, said today:

“The problem has never been Charlotte. Charlotte’s ordinance was a best practice employed in hundreds of cities across the country. The Charlotte City Council and mayor did the right thing by passing their ordinance — HB2 is wrong. Since its passage, the deeply discriminatory HB2 has hurt our economy and people. Now, the General Assembly must fully repeal HB2 so that we can start the necessary talks for protecting LGBTQ people and bring back businesses across the state. We look forward to working with Governor-elect Cooper to win protections community by community and statewide.”

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