Several LGBT groups on Monday
questioned a deal that swaps Charlotte's LGBT protections for repeal
of North Carolina's House Bill 2.
Republican leaders passed HB 2 in
response to passage of Charlotte's LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination
ordinance. The law blocks Charlotte and other cities from enacting
such measures and prohibits transgender people from using the
bathroom of their choice in many buildings.
Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper on
Monday announced a deal that calls for repeal of Charlotte's
ordinance in exchange for repeal of House Bill 2.
On Monday, Charlotte did its part,
repealing its ordinance, and state lawmakers are expected to repeal
House Bill 2 on Tuesday during a special session.
A coalition of groups, including the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of North Carolina and
Lambda Legal are challenging the law in federal court.
“H.B. 2 was an unprecedented attack
on the LGBT community, in particular against transgender people, and
we are encouraged that its days are numbered,” said Sarah Gillooly,
policy director for the ACLU of North Carolina. “It is imperative
that the General Assembly hold up their end of the deal and repeal
H.B. 2 in full without delay. This will be an important step for
North Carolinians to move forward, but it never should have come at
the cost of protections for LGBT people living in Charlotte.”
“LGBT rights aren’t a bargaining
chip,” Lambda Legal's Simone Bell said in a statement. “Charlotte
shouldn’t have had to repeal its ordinance in exchange for H.B. 2
to be repealed. LGBT people in North Carolina still need protection
Equality North Carolina Executive
Director Chris Sgro stopped short of criticizing the deal.
“The problem has never been
Charlotte. Charlotte’s ordinance was a best practice employed in
hundreds of cities across the country,” said Sgro. “The Charlotte
City Council and mayor did the right thing by passing their ordinance
– HB2 is wrong. Since its passage, the deeply discriminatory HB2
has hurt our economy and people. Now, the General Assembly must fully
repeal HB2 so that we can start the necessary talks for protecting
LGBTQ people and bring back businesses across the state. We look
forward to working with Governor-elect Cooper to win protections
community by community and statewide.”