As we reported earlier this week, the controversial House Bill 2 is likely to be revisited in the North Carolina General Assembly’s new legislative session, which kicked off yesterday.
As reported by the News & Observer, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore says he wants to find a “compromise” between assuaging business and sports interests that have boycotted the state over HB2 and conservative members of the GOP caucus that want to see most or all of HB2 stay in place.
“Conversations continue to happen, and I think you’ll see us trying to find some compromise on that issue,” Moore told reporters. “You won’t see the General Assembly betray its principles, but if there are ways to deal with the concerns that were there and perhaps allay any issues or concerns of the business community, I think you can probably see something like that.”
Of course, “compromise” continues to be a dirty word for groups on both the political left and right when it comes to HB2.
As the session opened the N.C. Values Coalition issued a statement strongly opposing any attempt to repeal or mitigate HB2.
From the statement:
“As the 2017 legislative long session convenes, our message to lawmakers is clear, “Stop Playing Politics with Privacy”.
Governor Cooper, leaders of the General Assembly and the Senators who voted to repeal HB2 in December should recall our state’s strong economy and resist the bullying of immoral sports organizations and fringe activists who only seek to replicate Charlotte-like ordinances and their radical agenda in every municipality across our state.
Our coalition cannot and will not support any efforts by Governor Cooper or any lawmaker to sacrifice the privacy, safety, or freedom of young girls by forcing them to use the bathroom, shower, or change clothes with grown men.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Equality North Carolina and the Human Rights Campaign issued a joint statement calling for immediate and unequivocal repeal:
Today, Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) called on North Carolina lawmakers to fully repeal the state’s deeply discriminatory HB2 at the beginning of the new legislative session. For more than nine months, HB2 has harmed North Carolina’s people and economy as businesses, major sporting organizations, entertainers, and others have moved events out of the state over the outrageous law. Just this week, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) confirmed that a decision to move the ACC Championship out of the state will be made soon if HB2 is not repealed.
“Every single day, HB2 has put LGBTQ North Carolinians at risk for discrimination and violence. North Carolina voters have sent a clear message by rejecting Pat McCrory, the face of HB2, at the ballot box,” said Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro. “Today’s convening of the 2017 session is an opportunity to show that North Carolina is not what is represented by the deeply discriminatory HB2. With HB2 still on the books and the Charlotte Ordinance fully repealed, we will only continue to lose businesses and put LGBTQ North Carolinians in harm’s way. The North Carolina General Assembly has but only one option – a full and complete repeal of HB2”
“North Carolinians have resoundingly rejected the hate and discrimination of HB2, and it’s far past time for their elected representatives to do the same,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Those who stand in the way of a clean vote to fully repeal HB2 are directly responsible for the continued harm this destructive law inflicts on the people, reputation, and economy of the state of North Carolina. HB2 must be repealed, and it must be repealed now.”
We’ll continue to closely cover the issue here at N.C. Policy Watch – but clearly this is going to be very difficult needle to thread.