North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper this week criticized Governor Pat McCrory's attempt to minimize the fallout from passage of a controversial bill that targets the LGBT community.

House Bill 2, approved last month during a one-day special session, blocks cities from enacting ordinances that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and bars students attending public institutions from using the bathroom that does not conform to their gender at birth.

After widespread criticism of the law, McCrory, a Republican, issued an executive order which he said was needed to clarify misunderstandings about the law.

McCrory's order adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes in state government employment and “maintains common sense gender-specific restroom and locker room facilities in government buildings and schools.”

“Governor McCrory's executive order is a day late and a veto short,” Cooper said in a statement.

“The sweeping nondiscrimination law he signed has already cost North Carolina hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue,” he added. “I'm glad Governor McCrory has finally acknowledged the great damage his legislation has done, but he needs to do more. The truth is, this executive order doesn't change the fact that HB 2 has written discrimination into the law.”

Cooper, who is vying to unseat McCrory, has previously said he would not defend the law in court.

(Related: North Carolina AG Roy Cooper won't defend anti-gay bill in court.)