Republican Governor Pat McCrory has called for a special session to consider repealing House Bill 2, according to the News and Observer.
Earlier on Monday, Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper said legislative leaders had promised to convene a session Tuesday for the controversial legislation's repeal.
His statement came after the Charlotte City Council unanimously voted Monday morning to repeal a local nondiscrimination ordinance that Republicans have argued made HB2 necessary. However, the repeal also notes that the nondiscrimination ordinance will be enacted again if the General Assembly does not repeal HB2 by Dec. 31.
Republican council member Ed Driggs said he’s worried legislators will see that deadline as Charlotte dictating to Raleigh. He proposed that the Dec. 31 deadline be removed, but his motion failed.
“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 HB2 in full,” Cooper said in a statement. “I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full."
House Bill 2 was passed by the North Carolina House of Representatives and Senate and signed by McCrory in March. The law overturns a February Charlotte ordinance that created anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ customers at private businesses and allowed transgender people to use restrooms aligned with their gender identity. It also prevents cities from implementing future anti-discrimination ordinances.
The act has led to national backlash as well as a hit to the state's economy with businesses and artists leaving the state. It also impacted Duke's athletic programs—the field hockey and men's basketball programs faced schedule changes.
“Gov. Pat McCrory has always advocated a repeal of the over-reaching Charlotte ordinance, but those efforts were always blocked by Jennifer Roberts, Roy Cooper and other Democratic activists,” spokesman Graham Wilson told the News and Observer. “This sudden reversal, with little notice after the gubernatorial election, sadly proves this entire issue originated by the political left was all about politics and winning the governor’s race at the expense of Charlotte and our entire state.”