Two weeks ago Raleigh was buzzing about an alleged deal to repeal HB2, the anti-LGBTQ law that has demonized a group of people and cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and tens of thousands of jobs.
The N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association announced it was brokering an agreement under which the Charlotte City Council would repeal its nondiscrimination ordinance and then Gov. McCrory would call the General Assembly into special session to repeal HB2 and hopefully stop more economic losses in the state.
Legislative leaders were reportedly on board. That was the announcement anyway.
LGBTQ activists were understandably skeptical of the promise and in the end so was Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and the majority of the city council. They decided not to repeal the common sense ordinance that protected LGBTQ people in Charlotte from discrimination in employment and public accommodations, including allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity—which more than 200 cities already allow.
The city council’s wise decision to refuse to take back its vote prompted a torrent of criticism from Republicans who said Roberts and the other Democrats on the council had torpedoed a deal to repeal HB2 and were putting political considerations ahead of what is best for the state.
Well now it turns out the deal was a sham. House Speaker Tim Moore was asked about the deal this week on Capital Tonight on Time Warner Cable News (the discussion begins around 3:40 into the interview) and here was his response.
There were some conversations with the folks in Charlotte and there was substantial support in the House Caucus to look at a reset where essentially Charlotte would back off this ordinance, you know Charlotte started all this by adopting this ordinance, where Charlotte would back off that ordinance, and then the General Assembly would take a look at where House Bill 2 is and get rid of most of those provisions and just make sure we kept in the bathroom piece and the other thing and just put a reset and have more of a dialogue on this when we come back into session.
So Moore never intended to repeal HB2 if the Charlotte City Council had caved into pressure and repealed its ordinance first. He admits it. There was never was a real deal to repeal the law. The House would only “take a look” at HB2.
Later in the interview Capital Tonight’s Tim Boyum asks Moore if lawmakers have the power on their own to override the Charlotte ordinance and Moore says they do—so Boyum asks him why then do they need Charlotte to do anything if the goal is to reset HB2.
Moore responds by criticizing “the left” and Democrats without ever answering the question. That’s because the answer is obvious. Gov. McCrory and legislative leaders can repeal HB2 any time they want. They don’t need Charlotte, they don’t even need Democrats.
Republicans control the governor’s office and hold supermajorities in the House and Senate.
HB2 is their law and they are simply refusing to repeal it.
And the damage they are inflicting on North Carolina’s economy and reputation continues.