HB2 was passed in March by the North Carolina General Assembly as a direct response to a non-discrimination ordinance passed by the Charlotte City Council in February.
Now, the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association is claiming that if Charlotte repeals their non-discrimination ordinance, the General Assembly will meet in a special session to repeal HB2. Lynn Minges, NCRLA president and CEO said in a statement:
“NCRLA has received assurances this week from legislative leadership, that if the Charlotte City Council repeals Ordinance #7056 at their meeting on Monday, the General Assembly is prepared to meet in special session as early as next week to repeal House Bill 2. Furthermore, Governor Pat McCrory has assured NCRLA that he is willing to call legislators into a special session next week for this purpose if both the city and legislators have the votes for repeal.”
No members of the General Assembly have confirmed the NCRLA’s claim.
This “compromise” deal is similar to one proposed by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce in May. Bob Morgan, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce CEO wrote in a Charlotte Observer op-ed:
“We believe the Council should act to take the first step in a process we hope leads to reforms to HB2 that advance our city and state as places where discrimination is not tolerated – for anyone. Doing so demonstrates our city and legislature can be responsive to each other. Doing so will result in our city being engaged in advancing corrective legislation – not backing off its core and appropriate beliefs. Taking the first step is another opportunity for our city to demonstrate it is leading the effort in our state to advance the rights of the LGBT community to live their lives feeling safe and accepted and not discriminated against.”
The Charlotte City Council rejected that compromise in May.
After the council’s rejection, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts tweeted, “We cannot compromise on basic human rights. Any repeal of LGBT protections is bad for business, bad for Charlotte’s future.”
We cannot compromise on basic human rights. Any repeal of LGBT protections is bad for business, bad for Charlotte’s future.
— Mayor of Charlotte (@CLTMayor) May 23, 2016
The Charlotte City Council extended the city’s non-discrimination ordinance to members of the LGBTQ community with a 7-4 vote in February. The most controversial part of the ordinance was a provision that allowed people to use public restrooms based on their gender identity. That led to a special session of the North Carolina General Assembly in March. The state legislature created HB2 which requires transgender individuals to use the bathroom and changing facility in government-owned buildings that matches their birth certificate rather than their gender identity. The law also blocks localities from extending nondiscrimination guidelines beyond the state policy and keeps local governing bodies from increasing the minimum wage.