RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A deal has fallen apart to undo the North Carolina law known as the “bathroom bill” in a sign of the state’s bitter political divide.
The state’s legislature was called into a special session Wednesday to consider repealing the law known as HB2 after months of pressure, including lost jobs and canceled sporting events and concerts.
Among other things, HB2 requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding with the sex on their birth certificate in many public buildings.
But the Republican-controlled legislature showed once again that it preferred to go its own way.
The latest special session was called by outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, after Charlotte gutted a local nondiscrimination ordinance that Republicans had blamed for necessitating the statewide law.
Incoming Gov.-elect Roy Cooper, a Democrat, says Republican legislators had a chance to do the right thing by repealing a contentious LGBT law, but they failed to live up to their promise.
The Democrat said Wednesday night there had been a bipartisan deal that called for a full repeal but that GOP leaders at the legislature went back on their word by adding a moratorium that he said “doubled down on discrimination.”
The Senate’s top leader disagreed with that assessment, saying Charlotte city leaders had already broken a promise by failing to fully repeal a non-discrimination ordinance that had led to the passage of House Bill 2 back in March.
Cooper told reporters he had worked on forging a deal for about 10 days. He says he’ll keep working on repeal because the law is a “great stain” on the state that’s resulting in lost jobs and sporting events.