RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina legislators will repeal the contentious HB2 law that limited protections for LGBT people and led to an economic backlash, the state’s incoming governor said Monday.
Gov.-elect Roy Cooper made the announcement shortly after the Charlotte City Council voted to repeal its own local ordinance enacted in early 2016. It was that ordinance that Republicans blamed for the statewide law.
“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 HB 2 in full. I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full,” the Democrat said in a statement.
The repeal would be a remarkable sign of cooperation for the incoming governor and the GOP-controlled legislature. Just last week, lawmakers called a special session and stripped Cooper of some of his authority when he takes office next month.
Spokesmen for Gov. Pat McCrory didn’t immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment.
Media representatives for the state’s Republican legislative leaders also didn’t immediately respond.
The Charlotte council’s move is contingent on North Carolina legislators fully repealing HB2 by Dec. 31.
HB2 requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding with the sex on their birth certificate in many public buildings. It also excludes sexual orientation and gender identity from statewide antidiscrimination protections.
McCrory and lawmakers have defended the bathroom provisions as providing privacy and safety by keeping men out of women’s restrooms. Opponents of the law call it discriminatory.
Since HB2 passed in March, North Carolina has suffered a backlash that has included companies declining to expand in the state and cancellations of rock concerts. The NCAA and ACC have also moved college sports events out of the state.