Cooper backs off demand for 'clean repeal' of HB2

Posted March 22

— One day before the anniversary of the passage of House Bill 2, Gov. Roy Cooper is softening his call for a so-called "clean repeal" of the controversial state law on LGBT rights and transgender bathroom access.

Cooper tried to negotiate a repeal in December, even persuading the Charlotte City Council to rescind a nondiscrimination ordinance that prompted state lawmakers to adopt House Bill 2 in a one-day emergency session last March 23. But when Republican legislative leaders attached to a repeal bill a "cooling off" period that would prohibit the adoption of any local nondiscrimination ordinance for at least six months, Senate Democrats balked, and the effort was defeated.

Since then, Cooper has repeatedly called for a straight-up repeal of House Bill 2, although he did allow last month for local governments wishing to enact a nondiscrimination ordinance to provide 30 days' notice to state lawmakers.

But with the continued threat of lost jobs and the NCAA blackballing North Carolina from hosting championship events for the next six years, the governor said Wednesday he feels compelled to compromise.

"I would support a House Bill 2 repeal with a moratorium with a definite end date," Cooper told WRAL News during a stop in Wayne County. "I think it's important that we try to negotiate something."

Various House Bill 2 repeal bills have been filed in the General Assembly in the past two months, ranging from outright appeals to measures that would allow for local votes on proposed nondiscrimination ordinances.

Cooper said he supports some of the ideas but not others.

"I think it's clear that we've got to compromise," he said. "My principles have been that any compromise that gets us toward eliminating discrimination while bringing back the jobs, the sports and the events, then I'm going to be for it, and I think that a repeal with some type of short, definite moratorium would be something that I could support."

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said it's too late for him to back a repeal with a moratorium on local nondiscrimination ordinances.

"I think, unfortunately, that window is not open," Berger, R-Rockingham, said when he heard of Cooper's new stance.

LGBT advocates also are against any compromise on House Bill 2, demanding a full repeal of the law.


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  • Brenda Lawrence Mar 23, 4:25 p.m.
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    Well said, Albert. And I've said it before and I'll say it again: As a 71-year-old woman who has traveled the world I can state without reservation that all unwanted sexual incidents in my life have been from heterosexual males. Starting with when I was 16 and a policeman (yes, a policeman!) told me I couldn't park my schoolbus where it was located and made me ride with him to look for a better place. We ended up in the woods, and while I wasn't raped, he did "manhandle" me. But never once have I been accosted in any way by a gay, lesbian or trans person. It just doesn't happen. Mr. Bolt, your fears are unfounded. Rather, you and others should look to the pedophiles in churches, schools, sports, or do you never read newspapers?

  • Andrew Stephenson Mar 23, 4:01 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Wait, what are they suddenly at risk of that they weren't at risk of for the past 80 years? Remember, the Charlotte ordinance is gone.

  • Andrew Stephenson Mar 23, 3:59 p.m.
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    And what agenda is that?

    Who needs a 6 month cooldown for a law that's 6 months old? It was simply a delay tactic.

  • Teddy Fowler Mar 23, 11:43 a.m.
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    If the Democrats who have accepted the 6 month "cooling off" period back when, then everything would be okay already.... too bad the Dems had a political agenda that really had nothing to do with helping the LBGT

  • Carl Keehn Mar 23, 11:43 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    I'm glad to see that you regard legalized discrimination in employment rights and housing rights to be reasonable. You also consider reasonable that areas with higher costs of living are prevented from establishing a reasonable minimum wage. Your definition of reasonable and mine differ.

  • Tom Baker Mar 23, 11:04 a.m.
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    I don't like that. HB2 likely sank Mc Crory, gave the Democrats a majority in the state supreme court, and has the potential to be a nail in the reelection coffin of a bunch of those backwards lawmakers. Cooper should insist on a clean repeal and invite the whole press corps each time the Republicans come up with another lame excuse why they "can't" repeal HB2. As if they need a single Democrat vote.

  • Star Bolt Mar 23, 9:59 a.m.
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    HB2 is a reasonable law, and it's sad to see Cooper so willing to sacrifice the safety of our wives and daughters to the financial blackmail of the progressive agenda.

  • Jennifer Allen Mar 23, 9:00 a.m.
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    Already backsliding I see. Thanks a bunch Roy, so glad I voted for you. Showing your true colors as yet another compromising waste of space formerly defined as 'politician.' I didn't vote for you so you could compromise on one of your biggest campaign promises! Make something happen or apologize to every person this bill discriminates against personally. You owe it to the LGBTQA+ community who turned out to vote for you. What a waste of a vote...all in the name of 'compromise' and 'political correctness.' ...'i think it's important that we try to negotiate something' what is that? It sounds like you've forgotten what HB2 is altogether and are just tossing people a bone. 'well we should negotiate *something,* but honestly who actually cares? What's for lunch anyway?' preposterous.

  • John Townsend Mar 23, 8:47 a.m.
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    Full repeal but cities can't force bathroom policy on private business, only government owned property and any ordinance must define what it means to be Transgender as opposed to biological sex.