The Times-Tribune

Flushing legislatio­n

Date set for session to undo North Carolina’s controvers­ial law.

- BY JONATHAN DREW

North Carolina leaders to meet Wednesday to repeal the state law widely derided as the “bathroom bill.”

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina leaders struck a deal Monday to kill the state law widely derided as the “bathroom bill,” after it tarnished the state’s reputation, cost it scores of jobs and contribute­d to the Republican governor’s narrow loss.

Outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory announced he would call legislator­s back to the Capitol on Wednesday to repeal the law known as HB2, which excludes sexual orientatio­n and gender identity from antidiscri­mination protection­s. The law also requires transgende­r people to use restrooms correspond­ing with the sex on their birth certificat­e in many public buildings.

Undoing the law would be a step toward mending political divisions that remain raw well after Election Day. Just last week, lawmakers called a special session to strip Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper of some authority before he takes office next month.

The state’s Republican leaders confirmed they’re open to repealing HB2, but in a sign of lingering acrimony, they accused Mr. Cooper of taking too much credit for winning their cooperatio­n.

The passage of HB2 in March thrust North Carolina into a national debate on transgende­r rights and harmed the state economical­ly. The state missed out on new jobs as companies declined to expand in the state, while cancellati­ons of concerts and convention­s exacted a toll. The NBA moved its All-Star game to New Orleans, and in a huge symbolic blow to the college basketball-crazy state, the NCAA and ACC relocated events.

Monday’s surprising events began in the morning when the Charlotte City Council voted to undo a local nondiscrim­ination law enacted in early 2016. That ordinance, Republican­s legislator­s say, challenged social norms and spurred them to pass HB2.

“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 ... to repeal HB2 in full,” Mr. Cooper said in a statement Monday morning. He initially said the session would be today.

Mr. McCrory said Democrats used the issue for political gain.

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 ?? ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE ?? Protesters head into the Legislativ­e building in Raleigh, N.C., in April for a sit-in against House Bill 2.
ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE Protesters head into the Legislativ­e building in Raleigh, N.C., in April for a sit-in against House Bill 2.

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