CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – The San Francisco 49ers are calling for a repeal of House Bill 2. The team’s CEO, Jed York, made the announcement, along with a “gift” of $75,000 to the Equality North Carolina Foundation to “further their work.”
York met with advocates and transgender North Carolinians to learn more about how the bill has impacted them. York is visiting Charlotte for NFL meetings.
The law was passed two months ago by the North Carolina General Assembly and then signed by Governor Pat McCrory.
“The San Francisco 49ers are deeply concerned about North Carolina’s recently enacted House Bill 2, which overturned protections for LGBT people and sanctioned discrimination across the state. HB2 does not reflect the values of our organization, of our country, or the majority of North Carolinians,” York said in a statement released Tuesday.
HB2 overturned a non-discrimination local ordinance passed by the Charlotte City Council to expand protections to the LGBT community, including a clause to allow people to choose the bathroom or locker room of their gender identification.
Late Monday afternoon, the Charlotte City Council said they had removed scheduled talks over North Carolina’s House Bill 2 from their meeting.
“The HB2 item on the Charlotte City Council agenda for Monday, May 23, 2016 has been removed from the agenda. There will be no action item on HB2 tonight,” a statement from officials read.
“The Mayor and City Council will continue to work with the General Assembly and with business and community leaders to address the continuing negative impacts of HB2 on the City of Charlotte and North Carolina,” the statement continued. “Charlotte remains committed to being a welcoming and inclusive community that is free of discrimination.”
WBTV asked Mayor Roberts and Councilmembers about the last minute change minutes after it was announced.
“It was decided after many conversations that it would not be helpful and the item was pulled from the agenda,” Roberts said.
Councilman John Autry says this issue was taken out of the city’s hands when HB2 was passed.
“If somebody wants to do something about the law, HB2, then it should be the people who wrote the law,” Autry said.
Fallout and push-back from HB2 was expected to dominate the conversation at the meeting. Forces supporting and against Charlotte’s anti-discrimination ordinance that was passed by city council earlier this year are expected to square off.
While the item was removed from the evening’s agenda, some members of the public were allowed to speak during the meeting’s public comment portion.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, was one of them.
“It’s the General Assembly of this state and it’s the governor. That’s the reason that you see hundreds of businesses across this state and all across the country, standing in opposition to HB2,” Griffin said.
During the afternoon, there was a number of meetings between opponents of HB2 and the Charlotte City Council. The actual debate was expected to start at 6:15 p.m. before the announcement came that it was taken off the agenda.
“Our heartfelt thanks are with Jed York and the San Francisco 49ers for their support and leadership at this critical time. It is clear that leaders at the General Assembly must act quickly to salvage our state’s reputation,” Equality NC said.