Among those calling for the law’s repeal last week was LGBT advocacy group Equality N.C., which called HB186 – touted by its sponsors as a compromise repeal – no compromise at all.
This week, we have a reminder that forces on the political right also oppose the bill, which would create a system whereby legal protections for LGBT people would be put to referendum votes across the state.
HB2 has brought boycotts against the state and generated international headlines, prevents local anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and requires those in government-owned buildings to use bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates.
Republicans and Democrats are both now working to repeal the law – though they can’t agree on how it should be done.
The conservative N.C. Values Coalition took credit for the failure of a repeal effort back in December and, according to recent e-mails from the group, they’re doing it again.
“It’s working. They’re listening,” a N.C. Values Coalition e-mail said of opposition to current repeal efforts. “I have had a number of General Assembly members contact me to thank us for your outreach. Others have been shocked by the sheer volume of your messages. Even more important, many legislators have begged us to keep it up.”
“They told us the grassroots outreach is making a real difference, and it’s desperately needed right now,” the e-mail read. “We can’t stop. We’ve already scored a victory by preventing a repeal by NCAA’s deadline. However, a number of the sponsors of HB 186 and other like bills are still trying to get HB2 repealed. Some are even Republicans who voted to pass HB2. Besides the co-sponsors, there are also other Republicans on the fence that need to hear from you.”
The coalition has opposed HB186 from the start — one of the few things the group has in common with organizations like Equality N.C. and the ACLU.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest – who has won praise from the N.C. Values Coalition – was in Texas Monday morning touting HB2 and supporting a similar law being considered in the Lone Star state.
Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are scrambling for a repeal before North Carolina loses another six years of NCAA championships, but Forest said the economic impact of HB2 has been overblown.
At a Monday press conference, North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin denounced the efforts to scuttle a repeal.
“North Carolinians are sick and tired of House Bill 2 and the damage it’s causing our state,” Goodwin said. “Despite public widespread opposition to keeping House Bill 2 on the books, Republican leaders are actively undermining political support for any compromise. It’s time for Republicans in the General Assembly to show some leadership and join Governor Cooper in working to find a solution.”