Special session on HB2 repeal possible if Charlotte ordinance removed, McCrory’s office says

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN/WBTV) – Gov. Pat McCrory says he will call a special session to repeal House Bill 2 if Charlotte repeals its bathroom ordinance, his office said in a statement Friday.

Josh Ellis, director of communications for McCrory, released the following statement:

“For the last nine months, the governor has consistently said state legislation is only needed if the Charlotte ordinance remains in place. If the Charlotte City Council totally repeals the ordinance and then we can confirm there is support to repeal among the majority of state lawmakers in the House and Senate, the governor will call a special session. It is the governor’s understanding that legislative leaders and the lieutenant governor agree with that assessment.”

The restaurant and hospitality lobby said North Carolina legislators are prepared to repeal House Bill 2 if the Charlotte City Council repeals its bathroom ordinance.

That statement was released after The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association said Friday it urged those involved on all sides of the HB2 debate to find a resolution quickly.

“NCRLA has received assurances this week from legislative leadership, that if the Charlotte City Council repeals Ordinance #7056 at their meeting on Monday, the General Assembly is prepared to meet in special session as early as next week to repeal House Bill 2,” said Lynn Minges, NCRLA president and CEO.

NCRLA is asking the Charlotte City Council to repeal ordinance #7056 immediately so McCrory and the General Assembly can work on removing HB2.

“Furthermore, Gov. Pat McCrory has assured NCRLA that he is willing to call legislators into a special session next week for this purpose if both the city and legislators have the votes for repeal,” she said.

Julie Eiselt, Charlotte Councilwoman At-large, told WBTV’s Pam Escobar that council is meeting on Monday for a “lengthy zoning meeting” and the ordinance is not on the agenda.

“That’s what they wanted us to do all along – to repeal it,” Councilwoman Eiselt said of the NCRLA statement.

She said the council has not met about that and she knows of “no plan to do anything right now.”

The Human Rights Campaign said this arrangement would only create problems, not solve them.

“This is the same cheap trick the North Carolina General Assembly has attempted all along, asking Charlotte to repeal crucial protections for the LGBTQ community and trust they will hold up their end of the bargain on a full repeal of HB2,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of Policy and Political Affairs.

House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) released a statement Saturday morning saying:

“The legislature and governor did not create this controversy – the Mayor and City Council of Charlotte did. If the Charlotte City Council and Mayor fully and unconditionally repeal their ordinance then I believe we have something to discuss. As for the House of Representatives, any specifics to be done would be subject to discussions and a decision of the caucus. I applaud the Governor in his continued efforts to promote the economic growth of our state while ensuring basic privacy and safety protections of citizens in bathrooms, showers and changing facilities.”

The announcement from NCRLA comes after both the NCAA and ACC moved championship games from North Carolina over HB2.

HB2 requires transgender people to use restrooms at schools and government buildings corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates. It also excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from local and statewide antidiscrimination protections.

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