Activists protest against HB2 compromise at Executive Mansion in Raleigh

Protesters gathered outside the Executive Mansion on Thursday. (Michael Hyland | CBS North Carolina)


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Some of Gov. Roy Cooper’s supporters were among those who gathered outside the Executive Mansion to protest against him Thursday evening.

The protesters were upset that Cooper had struck a deal on House Bill 2 that they see as throwing some in the LGBT community under the bus. And they didn’t expect to be out there.

Protesters gathered outside the Executive Mansion on Thursday. (Michael Hyland | CBS North Carolina)

“We threw all our air horns away about a week ago,” said Grayson Haver Currin.

But the Air Horn Orchestra returned to air its displeasure loudly.

The group hit its stride protesting ex-Gov. Pat McCrory turned its discordant fury on Cooper, who ran for office pledging to repeal House Bill 2.

“Can you look me in the eyes? I am a transgender citizen of this state!” said Raleigh resident Angela Bridgman outside the mansion.

Cooper said the HB2 compromise he signed wasn’t the solution he preferred. For example, he said, a moratorium on nondiscrimination ordinances passed by localities is bad, but better than the alternative.

“While these additional protections may be temporarily delayed, they will not be forever denied,” he said.

Critics on the left and right took aim at the deal Thursday.

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Leaders in the LGBT community said Thursday that there will be political consequences for those who backed the bill that passed.

“The state is letting us know that they value basketball over the lives and safety of every trans person in North Carolina,” said Joaquin Carcano, a transgender man and a plaintiff in the court case against HB2.

At the same time, HB2 supporters blasted the NCAA. An NCAA deadline pressured lawmakers to reach a deal.

It’s college presidents across the country telling the state of North Carolina how we ought to pass laws in North Carolina and what our public policy should be,” said Tami Fitzgerald of the N.C. Values Coalation.

Cooper said he still wants a full repeal but that the current solution gives LGBT people more rights than they had before.

“And this is the best deal we could get,” he said.

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