The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday October 20th

GOP abandons House Bill 2 repeal deal

UPDATE (7:30 p.m.): The N.C. Senate has officially adjourned. No bill to repeal House Bill 2 was passed out of either body of the N.C. General Assembly.

After a motion was passed to divide the bill into two — one on the repeal of HB2 and one on the ban on local ordinances — the first proposition failed to pass 16-32. The bill was referred back to the Rules Committee.

Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake, said he didn't think legislators had a plan going into the special session.

"It's not normal to waste four days and now it's going on nine hours … to accomplish nothing," Blue said.


UPDATE: Senate leader Phil Berger proposed an amendment to the bill — changing a six-month ban on new local ordinances, like Charlotte's, to a ban that would last 30 days after the adjournment of the 2017 legislative session. The amendment passed 29-19. This amendment would effectively lengthen the ban.


The N.C. Republican Party abandoned an agreement to repeal House Bill 2 Wednesday by trying to introduce new terms to the arrangement.

Governor-elect Roy Cooper revealed Monday lawmakers would meet Wednesday to repeal HB2 on the condition that Charlotte repeal its LGBTQ protection ordinance — what initially caused Republican Assembly members to pass HB2 in March.

"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 for Tuesday to repeal HB 2 in full," Cooper said in a statement on Facebook. "I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full."

But on Wednesday, Republicans in the senate attempted to introduce a new condition to the HB2 repeal bill — a six-month ban on new local ordinances, like the one Charlotte originally passed.

Civil liberties groups in North Carolina were displeased with the terms of the deal to begin with, and in a joint statement, Lambda Legal and the North Carolina branch of the American Civil Liberties Union said LGBTQ rights should never have been part of the bargain.

“LGBT rights aren’t a bargaining chip. Charlotte shouldn’t have had to repeal its ordinance in exchange for H.B. 2 to be repealed,” Simone Bell, the Southern Regional Director for Lambda Legal, said in a statement.

“LGBT people in North Carolina still need protection from discrimination. The right action is for the North Carolina legislature to pass a statewide comprehensive civil rights bill that includes full protections for LGBT people.”

state@dailytarheel.com

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