Raleigh, N.C. — A group of Charlotte business leaders headed by Duke Energy Chief Executive Lynn Good is backing the most recent effort to repeal and replace House Bill 2, the controversial measure dealing with LGBT rights and the use of bathrooms by transgender individuals.
"HB 186 represents an opportunity to advance North Carolina’s economic well-being. The Charlotte Executive Leadership Council stands with elected officials from both parties who continue seeking an answer through collaboration and cooperation on behalf of our entire state," reads a statement form the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council.
Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, and a bipartisan cast of fellow lawmakers rolled out House Bill 186 late on Wednesday. As currently drafted, the new bill would wipe away the old House Bill 2, while replacing it with a number of measures.
It would, for example, prohibit cities from enacting regulations regulating which bathroom a transgender individual can use. A Charlotte ordinance that required businesses to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice sparked the push that lead to House Bill 2 last year. The measure also allows cities to enact protections from LGBT individuals, but it allows voters to collect signatures for a referendum to override such a local law.
The compromise effort was panned earlier this week by advocacy groups on both sides of the House Bill 2 issues, while other business groups have mainly said they were happy to see lawmakers working toward a solution. The Charlotte Executive Leadership Council support in important not only for its own sake, but also because it comes with the implicit stamp of approval from Duke Energy, one of the largest companies headquartered in North Carolina and, through its executives, a major political player in state legislative and gubernatorial races.