Legislation & Lobbying

North Carolina lawmakers will consider repeal of 'bathroom bill' that limited LGBT protections

Rainbow flag.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has called a special legislative session for Tuesday to consider repeal of a bill that barred local governments from expanding protections for bias, a law that had the effect of barring local protections for gay and transgender people.

McCrory called the special session after the Charlotte City Council voted to repeal its LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance, the Charlotte Observer reports. State lawmakers had cited the Charlotte ordinance as a reason why the state law was needed, according to the Charlotte Observer and the Washington Post.

The state law, House Bill 2, had been dubbed the “bathroom bill,” because it also required schools and government-controlled facilities to restrict multiple-occupancy bathrooms to people of the same biological sex. The state law led to a backlash that included boycotts by tourists, sports organizations and musicians such as Bruce Springsteen. Some employers also opted against expanding into the state.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said incoming Gov. Roy Cooper had brokered a deal for the special session with state lawmakers and the Charlotte City Council. Cooper is a Democrat and McCrory is a Republican.

A spokesperson for McCrory, Graham Wilson, said the governor had always backed repeal of the Charlotte ordinance, but Democratic activists refused to act until after a Democrat was elected governor.

Whatever cooperation Cooper gained from state lawmakers on House Bill 2 does not extend to the issue of legislative limits on Cooper’s appointment powers when he becomes governor. One bill, signed into law by McCrory on Friday, would take away the power of future governors to appoint a majority to the state Board of Elections. Cooper has said he will sue if lawmakers follow through with a series of proposals to limit his power.

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