by WorldTribune Staff, December 20, 2016
The city ordinance that led to North Carolina’s HB2 “bathroom bill” was repealed by the Charlotte City Council on Dec. 19.
The move is contingent on the North Carolina General Assembly repealing House Bill 2 by Dec. 31.
The ordinance was pushed through the council in early 2016, just months into Mayor Jennifer Roberts’ tenure, and required businesses to allow people to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.
In response, the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly convened a one-day special session to pass its own legislation that rendered Charlotte’s ordinance null.
Gov.-elect Roy Cooper issued a statement soon after council acted: “Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore assured me that as a result of Charlotte’s vote, a special session will be called for Tuesday to repeal [HB2] in full,” he said. “I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full. Full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state.”
Berger, in a Facebook post, asked “why is Roy Cooper trying to take credit, after he opposed repeal during the campaign?
“Cooper told the Associated Press there was ‘no need’ to repeal Charlotte’s ordinance,” Berger wrote. “He refused to challenge the ordinance and protect North Carolinians’ safety and privacy as Attorney General, and WBTV reported that when a bipartisan group of lawmakers tried to pass a compromise that would have scrapped the bathroom sharing ordinance, Cooper pressured Democrats to kill the deal. Now Cooper wants credit for brokering the very same compromise he sabotaged. Why?
“The answer, of course, is what we suspected all along: politics … Cooper and Roberts’ efforts to force men into women’s bathrooms and shower facilities was a political stunt to hurt Governor McCrory and drive out-of-state money into the governor’s race.”
Following Cooper’s announcement, Gov. Pat McCrory’s office released its own statement:
“Governor McCrory has always publicly advocated a repeal of the overreaching Charlotte ordinance. But those efforts were always blocked by Jennifer Roberts, Roy Cooper and other Democratic activists,” said Graham Wilson, press secretary. “This sudden reversal with little notice after the gubernatorial election sadly proves this entire issue originated by the political left was all about politics and winning the governor’s race at the expense of Charlotte and our entire state. As promised, Governor McCrory will call a special session.”