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North Carolina lawmakers meeting today to consider HB2 repeal

North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill” could be repealed today after months of intense criticism and economic losses.

City of Charlotte, North Carolina

House Bill 2, signed into law in March, bans people from using public bathrooms that don’t correspond to their biological sex. The state law was passed in response to a Charlotte city “nondiscrimination ordinance” that allowed transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

But on Monday, the City Council there rescinded its nondiscrimination ordinance — apparently in exchange for a special session by the state legislature to repeal HB2. “The City Council acted in good faith to do everything that it understood was necessary to facilitate the repeal of HB2,” the city said in a statement Wednesday.

The General Assembly on Wednesday is holding that special session to discuss 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,” Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper said.
Cooper narrowly defeated current Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who blamed his gubernatorial loss on controversy over the bathroom bill. Cooper, the attorney general for the past 16 years, helped broker Charlotte’s cooperation in the deal and said during the campaign he wanted HB2 repealed.

“My hope for the session is that we have a one-day session with one bill and we go home,” GOP Rep. Chuck McGrady of Hendersonville said. But McGrady said any lawmaker could offer amendments to retain parts of the law, which could complicate matters.

Some conservative lawmakers — urged on by conservative Christians groups that supported HB2 — are likely to want to keep the law in place despite the state suffering huge economic losses since HB2’s passage. Musicians Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and the bands Pearl Jam and Boston canceled concerts in the state. PayPal and Deutsche Bank both said they would cancel plans to expand into the state. And the NCAA said it would relocate several college athletic championship events for the 2016-17 season that were scheduled to take place in North Carolina.

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