Flush­ing leg­is­la­tion

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

The Times-Tribune - - Front Page - 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.

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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