The North Carolina Republican-controlled legislature promised to repeal the state's hate law, HB2, IF the city council of Charlotte would first repeal their local LGBT protections ordinance. But after the city of Charlotte went first in this game of chicken, the GOP lawmakers reneged on the deal.
H.B. 2 bans transgender people from accessing restrooms and public facilities that align with their gender identity, and prevents local municipalities from passing nondiscrimination protections to LGBT people.
A special session was called Wednesday to close the deal on repealing HB2 which has had an enormous economic backlash on the state as businesses have pulled out of the state costing over $600 million in lost revenue.
Talking Points Memo details how it all went down:
The compromise touted by both Cooper and outgoing GOP Gov. Pat McCrory called for Charlotte to do away with its ordinance. In exchange, lawmakers would undo the LGBT law.
But many conservatives never wanted to repeal the law and GOP lawmakers cried foul when Charlotte leaders initially left part of the city's ordinance in place. When the Senate bill called for a months-long ban on cities passing similar ordinances, Democrats said Republicans were going back on their promise.
Senate leader Phil Berger, a Republican, blamed Cooper and the Democratic-controlled Charlotte City Council for sinking the repeal effort.
Berger said Charlotte officials misled lawmakers into thinking they had fully repealed their ordinance Monday. The council met again Wednesday morning to scrap the rest of local law.
"I'm sorry folks, I don't trust them, and our folks don't trust them. There's no reason to trust them," Berger said after his chamber adjourned.
The Human Rights Campaign issued this statement:
"Today, the public trust has been betrayed once again. Lawmakers sent a clear message: North Carolina remains closed for business," said HRC President Chad Griffin. "It’s been 273 days since Republican state lawmakers passed the hateful HB2 law, and they have resisted fixing the mess they created every step of the way. Even after Charlotte responded to the GOP leadership’s loathsome demand to repeal common sense protections that exist in more than 100 cities, Senator Berger and Speaker Moore failed to make good on the ‘deal’ they brokered with Governor-elect Cooper to fully repeal HB2. Their shameful actions and broken promises subject LGBTQ North Carolinians to state-mandated discrimination, contribute to a heightened environment of harassment and violence, and will continue the significant harm done to the state’s reputation and economy. It's clear today that the GOP leadership’s cruelty towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and particularly transgender North Carolinians knows no bounds. For our part, we will continue to fight to defeat all of HB2 and protect North Carolinians no matter what it takes."