The Legislature’s Efforts to Repeal HB 2 Have Turned Into a Big, Dumb Soap Opera | Triangulator | Indy Week
Pin It

The Legislature’s Efforts to Repeal HB 2 Have Turned Into a Big, Dumb Soap Opera 

Here is the one thing on which most people on Jones Street profess to agree: HB 2, the much-hated so-called bathroom law that has besmirched the state's reputation, cost it hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity and numerous sports championships, lost its governor his reelection, and, oh yeah, enshrined anti-LGBTQ bigotry into state statute, has to go. Beyond that, agreement is hard to come by.

Most Democrats want a straight repeal, though they're willing to bend, as evidenced by Governor Cooper's proposed compromise, which would stiffen penalties for crimes committed in bathrooms—to offset conservative fears of men posing as women to gain access to women's facilities, which doesn't actually happen—and require municipalities to give a thirty-day notice before passing their own nondiscrimination ordinances, which in turn would give the legislature plenty of time to preempt them.

Many Republicans, meanwhile, want something that looks more like a repeal in name only—enough to get this monkey off their backs, but not enough to substantially improve protections for LGBTQ citizens, especially transgender citizens. This desire has most recently manifested in a "compromise" called HB 186, which is backed by some business groups and received tentative support from the ACC commissioner. It would repeal HB 2 but forbid cities from passing ordinances guaranteeing transgender individuals access to restrooms that conform with their gender identity. Also, while it would add veterans and pregnant women to the state's nondiscrimination law, it would leave it to local governments to enact protections for LGBTQ people—and even then, opponents, with just a few signatures, could put the LGBTQ community's civil rights up for a referendum.

Over the weekend, Cooper took to Medium to object to HB 186, which "subjects the rights of the minority to a vote of the majority. It would be like putting the Civil Rights Act to a popular vote in cities in the South during the 1960s." Instead, he suggested, it would be better to require city and town councils to pass these ordinances with a majority-plus-one vote. And, he argued, Republican leaders conned a handful of Democrats into getting on board—thus lending HB 186 the veneer of bipartisanship—by promising that the legislature would revisit the referendum provision, only to renege.

"This is not a Republican compromise with Democrats; it's a Republican compromise with Republicans," Cooper wrote.

On Monday, House Speaker Tim Moore clapped back in a statement: "Governor Cooper should stop playing political games, stop trying to please special interest groups, and stop attempting to sabotage legislative efforts to find consensus on both sides of the aisle and among the business community. This effort takes careful compromise, and House Bill 186 is a real solution that actually addresses conflicts with House Bill 2, finds common ground across stakeholder communities, and fully protects the privacy and safety of North Carolinians."

It's worth noting that, if they stuck together, Moore's Republicans could repeal HB 2 and replace it with whatever they wanted without a single Democratic vote. With their supermajorities, they could override Cooper's veto, too. But Moore doesn't have the votes, so he needs Democrats. And he can't get Democrats without doing something his base considers a bridge too far.

In fact, on Monday, state representative and HB 186 sponsor Chuck McGrady announced that he wouldn't move ahead without Cooper. "I don't have a path forward if I don't get the Democrats with me," he told reporters.

So, for now, the most likely scenario appears to be stalemate. And plenty of blame to go around.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Triangulator



Twitter Activity

Comments

Maybe ex Commissioner Wheeler could explain why he was against net-neutrality until President Obama told him at the last minute …

by MJKopechne on This Week Could Mark the End of the Web as We Know It (Triangulator)

The comparison to the 2009 Wake County Commissioners vote could hardly be more off base, to the point of calling …

by George Farthing on The Disruption on the New Raleigh City Council Is a Blast from the Past (Triangulator)

Most Recent Comments

Maybe ex Commissioner Wheeler could explain why he was against net-neutrality until President Obama told him at the last minute …

by MJKopechne on This Week Could Mark the End of the Web as We Know It (Triangulator)

The comparison to the 2009 Wake County Commissioners vote could hardly be more off base, to the point of calling …

by George Farthing on The Disruption on the New Raleigh City Council Is a Blast from the Past (Triangulator)

okay, I need help understanding this. So, the mayor makes appointment to certain committees each term and the rest of …

by Black Raleigh on The Disruption on the New Raleigh City Council Is a Blast from the Past (Triangulator)

I really don't understand the purpose of this article except to cause dissent. Assumptions and interpretations were made that were …

by Terry Snyder on The Disruption on the New Raleigh City Council Is a Blast from the Past (Triangulator)

Two points stand out immediately upon reading this account.

If you are going to insist on continuing to use …

by FONCitizen on The Disruption on the New Raleigh City Council Is a Blast from the Past (Triangulator)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation