North Carolina lawmakers could repeal ‘bathroom bill’

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Crowd reactions - In a landmark opinion, the Supreme Court ruled Friday that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a victory that until very recently would have seemed unthinkable.

North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill” could be repealed Wednesday after months of intense criticism and economic losses.

House Bill 2, signed into law in March, bans people from using public bathrooms that don’t correspond to their biological sex.

The state law was passed in response to a Charlotte city “non-discrimination ordinance” that allowed transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

But on Monday, the City Council there rescinded its nondiscrimination ordinance — apparently in exchange for a special session by the state legislature to repeal HB2.

“The City Council acted in good faith to do everything that it understood was necessary to facilitate the repeal of HB2,” the city said in a statement Wednesday.

The General Assembly on Wednesday is holding that special session to discuss HB2.

“Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore assured me that as a result of Charlotte’s vote, a special session will be called … to repeal HB2 in full,” Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper said.

Political, economic fallout

Cooper narrowly defeated current Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who blamed his gubernatorial loss on controversy over the bathroom bill.

“I have always publicly advocated a repeal of the overreaching Charlotte ordinance,” McCrory said.

He said the Charlotte council’s “sudden reversal with little notice after the gubernatorial election sadly proves this entire issue originated by the political left was all about politics and winning the governor’s race at the expense of Charlotte and our entire state.”

In the nine months since McCrory signed the law, the state has grappled with wide-ranging repercussions.

The Justice Department filed a suit challenging the measure, and the state’s public university system pledged to defy the statewide law.

North Carolina also suffered huge economic losses after HB2’s passage.

Musicians Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and the bands Pearl Jam and Boston canceled concerts in the state.

PayPal and Deutsche Bank both said they would cancel plans to expand into the state. And the NCAA said it would relocate several college athletic championship events for the 2016-17 season that were scheduled to take place in North Carolina.

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