RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Pat McCrory said last month that if Charlotte agreed to repeal its LGBTQ non-discrimination ordinance, and if there was enough support in the North Carolina General Assembly, he would call a special session to consider repeal HB2.
In a recent interview with CBN News, McCrory admitted that he had no intention of ever fully repealing the bill, which requires transgender individuals to use the bathrooms matching their birth certificate in government owned buildings.
Answering whether he considered repealing HB2, McCrory told the Christian news outlet:
No, not based upon the concept of changing the definition of gender…And HB2 is actually irrelevant now because the federal government has stepped in and ordered the definition of gender to be based upon expression and identity.
So, this whole focus on one bill is really a diversion…and the national media has no idea, and the people in the public have no idea that this issue was started by the left in the city of Charlotte, by a very liberal mayor and by the attorney general that I’m running against. And by now President Obama, and Hillary Clinton is supporting this concept also. It’s a major change in our moral fabric.
“Either he was lying then or he’s lying now,” Jamal Little, a spokesman for Roy Cooper, said in a press release.
“If Governor McCrory is going to continue to refuse to repeal this bad law, he should at least be honest with North Carolinians about his intentions.”
McCrory told The Charlotte Observer that he has been consistent on his opposition to the bathroom provision of Charlotte’s LGBT non-discrimination ordinance, and his support of the one found in HB2.
He said he could have supported a compromise “if it didn’t change the definition of gender. Had Charlotte repealed its ordinance we wouldn’t have had that issue because in the Charlotte ordinance they specifically mentioned gender identity and gender expression.”
The Charlotte City Council decided not to consider repealing their ordinance this time around either, which was announced at a meeting on September 19 to applause.
This was not the first time pressure had been placed on the Charlotte City Council to take back the ordinance which has already been made void by HB2, which did away with all non-discrimination ordinances in the state.
Back in May, a motion to place a repeal of the ordinance on an upcoming schedule failed 7-4, after some Councilmembers met with members of the NCGA.
House Speaker Tim Moore also admitted that the talk of repealing HB2 was just that, saying in an interview on Time Warner Cable’s “Capital Tonight”:
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.
“Capital Tonight” host Tim Boyum then pushes him on if that means there was never going to be a full repeal.
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.
McCrory’s statement on the issue makes clear that a full repeal of HB2, however, was already completely off the table. The Charlotte City Council now has even less reason to consider repealing their non-discrimination ordinance unless they are willing to abandon the transgender public accommodations portion.
There seems to be little political will to do so, although with the mounting losses to the state it is possible that the NCGA could attempt to offer more protections for the LGB community in exchange for the city looking the other way on the T.
When the ordinance failed to pass in 2015, a modified version exempting restrooms, locker rooms, showers and changing rooms from public accommodations protections for transgender individuals was put forward. It too failed to pass, with Democratic Councilmembers LaWana Mayfield and John Autry voting no, as they both were unwilling to vote yes on a compromised ordinance.
With these acknowledgements, one wonders how much trust the Charlotte City Council will have even if some sort of compromise is offered.
It looks as if McCrory is right when he says, “This will most likely be resolved in the Supreme Court.”