RALEIGH, N.C. — House Speaker Tim Moore appeared on Time Warner Cable New’s “Capital Tonight” on Tuesday night and was asked about the proposed compromise deal whereby the North Carolina General Assembly (NCGA) would consider a repeal of HB2 provided Charlotte first repealed the LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance passed back in February. He admitted that there was no intention of ever fully repealing the unpopular bill, which has cost the state millions from boycotts.
For months now the North Carolina General Assembly has been putting pressure on the city to repeal the ordinance, which the passage of HB2 nullified. The topic “Economic Impact of HB2” appeared on the Charlotte City Council agenda in May before it was quickly removed. A motion to place a repeal of the ordinance on an upcoming schedule failed 7-4.
Below is a transcript of the conversation regarding HB2 between “Capital Tonight” host Tim Boyum and Speaker Moore, which you can watch here (beginning at around the 3 and a half minute mark):
Boyum: How close was a deal in your mind? How close was a deal?
Moore: You know, there were some conversations occurring with some folks in Charlotte and there was substantial support in the House caucus to look at a reset, whereby Charlotte would back away from this ordinance — you know, Charlotte started all this by adopting this ordinance — where Charlotte would back off of that ordinance and then the General Assembly take a look at where House Bill 2 is and, you know, get rid of most of those provisions. And just make sure we kept in the bathroom piece and the other things, and just put a reset and have more of a dialogue on this when we come back in session.
Boyum: So it wouldn’t have been a full repeal?
Moore: In a manner of speaking, it could have been. But, you know, we never got there because Charlotte wouldn’t negotiate with us. We had to have seven votes because the mayor was going to veto it. If you have a negotiation and one side stops negotiating, it’s very difficult to keep having a conversation at that point.
Boyum then asked if the legislature had the power to nullify the ordinance, and Moore said they do.
So why, Boyum wonders allowed, does the NCGA need Charlotte to do anything?
Moore then argues that this would have been a chance for Charlotte to “be part of the process to move forward,” and bemoans that the issue has been politicized and voices frustration with “the left” applauding boycotts in the state.
In spite of Moore claiming, “in a manner of speaking” HB2 could have been fully repealed, that is clearly not the case based on what he said immediately prior.
It is also hard to imagine any negotiation whereby the NCGA allows the provision in the Charlotte ordinance allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms matching their gender identity, when that is what they have been publicly arguing required them to take action with their so-called “commonsense” solution in the first place.
Moore also does not expound upon what “the other things” he would make sure they kept might be, which should raise alarm bells for Charlotte.
HB2 nullified all non-discrimination ordinances, taking away protections for LGBTQ people. McCrory signed an executive order in April reinstating the right to sue for employment discrimination in state court, which the bill had removed. It also expanded protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity to state employees. The rest was left unchanged.
With this admission from Moore, an always unlikely compromise now appears to be fully out of reach.