Republican Gov. Pat McCrory announced he would call the general assembly for a special session on Wednesday to repeal the highly controversial bathroom bill or House Bill 2.
The outgoing governor had previously promised to repeal H.B. 2, a state law that requires transgender persons to use public bathrooms based on their biological gender, if Charlotte would repeal its nondiscrimination ordinance allowing transgender persons to use public bathrooms according to their gender identity.
On Monday, Charlotte’s city council voted to repeal its ordinance.
“Now that the Charlotte ordinance has finally been repealed, the expectation of privacy in our showers, bathrooms and locker rooms is restored and protected under previous state law,” McCrory announced in a video message.
H.B. 2 was enacted in March in response to Charlotte’s ordinance. McCrory and other advocates of the bathroom bill maintained that the primary purpose for the legislation was to protect the safety of women and children from possible sexual predators posing as transgender persons in public bathrooms.
He said his previous efforts to have the Charlotte ordinance repealed were hindered by Democratic politicians, particularly Charlotte mayor Jennifer Roberts and governor-elect Roy Cooper.
“I have always publicly advocated the repeal of the overreaching Charlotte ordinance, but those efforts were blocked by Jennifer Roberts, Roy Cooper and other Democratic activists,” McCrory said.
The outgoing governor also said Charlotte’s move to suddenly repeal its ordinance after the 2016 election showed how the issue, which greatly affected the state, had been largely political for the Democrats.
H.B. 2 had affected North Carolina economically, with some businesses, concerts and NBA and NCAA games boycotting the state and moving to other locations. According to Forbes, the bill had cost the state an estimated $600 million.
“You know, the sudden reversal with little notice after the gubernatorial election has ended sadly proves this entire issue, originated by the political left, was all about politics at the expense of Charlotte and the entire state of North Carolina,” McCrory said.
“But as I promised months ago, if the Charlotte ordinance was repealed, I would call our general assembly into special session to reconsider existing state legislation passed earlier this year. And I’m doing just that for this Wednesday,” he added.
Cooper, in a statement issued Monday, said Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore had assured him that with Charlotte’s repeal of the nondiscrimination ordinance, a special session would be held for the repeal of H.B. 2.
“I hope that they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full,” Cooper said.
However, Berger and Moore said Cooper was being dishonest and accused him of trying to take credit for the impending repeal of H.B. 2.
“Today Roy Cooper and Jennifer Roberts proved what we said was the case all along: their efforts to force men into women’s bathrooms and shower facilities was a political stunt to drive out-of-state money into the governor’s race,” Berger and Moore said in a joint statement.
“For months, we’ve said if Charlotte would repeal its bathroom ordinance that created the problem, we would take up the repeal … Roy Cooper is not telling the truth about the legislature committing to call itself into session — we’ve always said that was Gov. McCrory’s decision, and if he calls us back, we will be prepared to act,” they said.