In an unexpected move Monday morning, the Charlotte City Council voted to conditionally repeal the city’s NDO – also know as the “bathroom ordinance” – that led to the state’s passage of House Bill 2 (HB2):
The Charlotte City Council voted to repeal its controversial non-discrimination ordinance, commonly known as the “bathroom’ ordinance,” in exchange for the North Carolina General Assembly repealing House Bill 2 by Dec. 31.
The council voted 9-0 to repeal its non-discrimination ordinance Monday.
The ordinance was pushed through the council in early 2016, just months into Mayor Jennifer Roberts’ tenure, and required businesses to allow people to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.
In response, Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly convened a one-day special session to pass its own legislation that rendered Charlotte’s ordinance null.
The City of Charlotte tweeted out the following statement:
— City of Charlotte (@CLTgov) December 19, 2016
According to multiple sources, the state legislature is preparing to meet this week to repeal HB2, although it’s not clear if they’ll be on board with the 12/31 effective date:
— Spectrum News Triad (@SpecNewsTriad) December 19, 2016
A similar deal was in the works in September between the council and the general assembly (NCGA), but it was torpedoed by some Democrats in the state legislature who wanted to keep the issue alive for then-candidate-for-governor Roy Cooper and other Democrats to use for political gain, in spite of the economic damage they complained about it doing to the state. Mayor Jennifer Roberts said at the time:
Statement from Mayor Roberts in September, when compromise was first offered pic.twitter.com/6msEABmMAl
— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) December 19, 2016
Also, a bipartisan compromise to amend HB2 was in the works in July until strong-arming by Cooper to pressure NCGA Democrats into opposing it effectively nixed a broader deal.
Journalists who spent an exhaustive week covering last week’s special sessions are wondering why this deal didn’t happen sooner:
#ncpol reporters wondering why this deal wasn't struck last week to avoid need for year's 5th special session.
— Colin Campbell (@RaleighReporter) December 19, 2016
Gov. McCrory, in a statement indicating he would officially call for the legislature to meet in another special session, hinted at the answer:
— ABC11 EyewitnessNews (@ABC11_WTVD) December 19, 2016
And also, there’s this. Is Charlotte Mayor Roberts (D) trying to one-up potential primary opponents with this move?
— Joel Ford (@joeldford) December 18, 2016
Grab the popcorn, folks, and stay tuned.