The Charlotte City Council removed the topic of the economic impact of HB2 and opted not take a vote on the repeal of the expanded LGBT non-discrimination ordinance at Monday night’s dinner meeting, which had been feared by community members and non-profit groups.
Mayor Roberts met with North Carolina General Assembly members earlier this month, which was followed by a recent meeting with four members of the city council. Reports claimed that conversations about a possible compromise were had at both meetings, with NCGA members requesting the city council repeal the non-discrimination ordinance in exchange for a modification to HB2.
The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce has been behind the scenes pushing for such a compromise. On Sunday, Chamber President Bob Morgan published in article in The Charlotte Observer encouraging city council to “take a first step” in trying to broker a deal with the NCGA, further stating that they “lit a match” when they passed the non-discrimination ordinance in an attempt to blame them for the current situation, a favorite strategy lately of the lawmakers responsible for HB2.
The Chamber has also expressed support for the portions of the bill that restrict cities from raising their minimum wage as well as the limitations on workers who feel they have been discriminated against to sue directly in state Superior Court.
TurnOut NC!, an LGBT rights project to mobilize voters, which consists of Equality NC, Campaign for Southern Equality, the HRC, the ACLU, placed calls to supporters asking them to attend Monday night’s meeting.
Those who signed up to speak on the topic report receiving phone calls from the office of the Charlotte City Clerk informing them that the item discussing the economic impact of HB2 was no longer on the agenda and that they would therefore not be hearing any comments on the matter.
MeckPAC made the announcement on Facebook, saying that the council lacked “consensus” and did not have enough votes to repeal or modify the non-discrimination ordinance, so the mayor had removed the issue from the agenda.
Mayor Roberts tweeted support for the LGBT community on Monday, stating that “We cannot compromise on basic human rights.” This matches what she told those in attendance at the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund luncheon on May 11, where she said LGBT rights were “not negotiable” and called for a full repeal of HB2.
We cannot compromise on basic human rights. Any repeal of LGBT protections is bad for business, bad for Charlotte’s future.
— Mayor of Charlotte (@CLTMayor) May 23, 2016
Members of the LGBT community attended the Charlotte City Council business meeting immediately following the dinner meeting and thanked the mayor and council for not voting to repeal the LGBT non-discrimination ordinance.
Others react to potential compromise, rejection of ordinance repeal:
— Kevin Siers (@KevinSiers) May 23, 2016
— The Task Force (@TheTaskForce) May 23, 2016
— Equality NC (@equalitync) May 23, 2016
— Mara Keisling (@MaraKeisling) May 23, 2016