Gov. Pat McCrory addressed the outcome of the special session intended to repeal HB 2 yesterday, which ended with HB 2 still in place, in a statement released late Thursday night.
McCrory said that in calling the session he fulfilled a promise to reconsider the legislation that nullified Charlotte’s addition to its non-discrimination policy, passed earlier this year, which would have forced businesses and public bodies alike to allow people to choose which gender specific facility to use. The Charlotte measure was sold as an effort to allow transgendered people to use the bathroom or changing room that aligned with their chosen gender.
The concern for McCrory and the Legislature was that bad actors would abuse the policy and use it as a shield for entering the private areas of women and girls.
“As promised, I called a Special Session to reconsider a manufactured political issue that strategically targeted the city of Charlotte and our state by well-funded left-wing interest groups,” McCrory said. “This was at least the third time that pressure from the left sabotaged bipartisan good faith agreements for political purposes.”
McCrory reiterated his earlier statements that the matter would ultimately not be settled by a city ordinance or a state law but by federal courts.
“As I’ve stated multiple times, the balance between privacy and equality is not just a North Carolina issue, it is a national issue that will be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in the near future,” he said. “North Carolina will continue to be one of the nation’s leaders in job growth, education, quality of life and equality for all of our citizens.”
Wednesday’s session ended in a failed vote to repeal HB 2 due to 16 Republicans and 16 Democrats standing together to vote against the repeal.
Most of the day was spent in caucus discussing the measure to repeal HB 2 with the vote coming in the evening before the Senate adjourned around 7:30 p.m.
Before the vote, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said he was offering Democrats a chance to prove that they sought a repeal of HB 2 by splitting the controversial cooling-off period in the bill from the rest of the bill, meaning that had that proposition been approved HB 2 would be repealed.
While McCrory made general comments toward sabotaged agreements in his statement Berger was much more specific in his indictment of Governor-elect Roy Cooper for the failed vote, after Cooper ran for months on the platform that he would work to repeal HB 2 if elected.
“Make no mistake: Roy Cooper and Senate Democrats killed the repeal of HB 2, abandoning Roy Cooper’s commitment to avoid divisive social issues by shooting down a temporary cooling off period on ordinances like the one that got us into this mess last March,” Berger said. “Their action proves they only wanted a repeal in order to force radical social engineering and shared bathrooms across North Carolina, at the expense of our state’s families, our reputation and our economy.”
Charlotte media outlets reported that Cooper rallied Senate Democrats to oppose the bill due to the presence of a six-month cooling off period before any local governments could pass additions to their non-discrimination ordinances to avoid starting the same process all over again that began earlier this year with the passage of Charlotte’s addition to its non-discrimination ordinance.
Berger said that Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Cooper operated in bad faith by passing a “secret, partial repeal a closed-door meeting” and then turned around and compromised that same deal for political gain.