Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper sent a Valentine's Day love note to Republican legislative leaders, offering the compromise they demanded for a repeal of a controversial state law limiting LGBT rights. But they quickly snubbed his advances.
Cooper said his proposal would increase punishments for crimes committed in public bathrooms and locker rooms to satisfy GOP concerns about the safety of women and girls if people were allowed to use the bathroom of their choice and men went into the women's restroom. His plan also called for cities and counties considering a local nondiscrimination ordinance to give the public and lawmakers 30 days' notice, which he said would satisfy concerns that municipalities might quickly push through such ordinances with little discussion.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said it wasn't much of a compromise, meaning the legislation is likely to gain little traction in the General Assembly. LGBT advocates also criticized Cooper's proposal, saying anything beyond a straight repeal of House Bill 2 is a distraction.
Cooper also got rejection from the courts, as a three-judge panel turned down his request to delay any Senate confirmation hearings for his cabinet secretaries until courts can determine whether the new law that created the confirmation process is legal. The judges said that, because no cabinet appointee has been rejected so far, Cooper hasn't suffered any harm and so cannot obtain an injunction, but they said he could reapply for one if the Senate does turn down one or more of his agency heads.