Chapel Hill leaders vote to oppose House Bill 2

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The Town Council in Chapel Hill voted Monday night to pass a resolution opposing the controversial House Bill 2, calling the measure “extreme” and saying it “demonstrates a lack of knowledge and understanding.”

The vote came just days after the General Assembly convened in an emergency session to pass a bill that creates a statewide nondiscrimination policy. The bill came in response to an ordinance passed in Charlotte that would have allowed people to use a public restroom based on the gender with which they identify.

House Bill 2, which Gov. McCrory signed into law hours after it passed, does not carve out protections against discrimination based on sexual identity.

“We needed to make a statement quickly instead of just sitting back and saying ‘Oh, well.’ No, we wanted to come out strong and say this is not right,” said Mayor Pam Hemminger.

Before the vote, the council heard from Michelle Doss, who had planned to come out as transgender this month. However, she expected it would be under different circumstances.

“And I was going to come out because things were better. After Charlotte, I was like, well this is my time to feel OK and to be a citizen. But, it looks like I’m coming out now because things have gotten worse,” said Doss.

North Carolina has faced national criticism as a result of the law. Leaders in some cities, including San Francisco and Seattle, have banned official travel to the state.

In his first press conference since signing the bill, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) pushed back. He said the attacks on the state were part of a “well-coordinated campaign” to “distort the truth.” Further, he called the bill common sense, saying it establishes consistency across the state.

“We have not taken away rights that currently existed in any city in North Carolina, from Raleigh, to Durham, to Chapel Hill, to Charlotte,” he said.

Following the vote Monday night, Mayor Hemminger said rainbow flags will be placed along Franklin Street Tuesday morning to show solidarity with the LGBT community.

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