July 5, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Charlotte repeals LGBT ordinance in deal to undo HB2

lgbtordinance_22-jpg

BY CHRIS JOHNSON  |  In a surprise move, the Charlotte City Council voted unanimously Monday morning to rescind its LGBT non-discrimination ordinance as part of a deal in which the North Carolina Legislature would rescind its anti-LGBT law known as House Bill 2.

Governor-elect Roy Cooper, who recently defeated Gov. Pat McCrory in the gubernatorial election, said in a statement he received assurances from lawmakers they would undo the anti-LGBT law as a result of the city council’s actions.

“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 for Tuesday to repeal HB2 in full,” Cooper said. “I hope they will keep their word to me and with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full. Full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state.”

The 10-member city council voted unanimously to repeal its non-discrimination ordinance without any prior notice that the issue would be part of its hearing Monday morning.

The vehicle for repeal was a resolution acknowledging “several ordinances that have been preempted and invalidated by state laws over the past 10 years” and remain on the books, such as a cable TV ordinance and a business privilege license tax, and therefore should be repealed. Also denoted in the resolution is the authority enabling the council to “enact new ordinances” should the legislature restore the city’s authority to enact the measures.

The resolution states if North Carolina doesn’t act to repeal HB2 in its entirety by Dec. 31, the act to repeal the LGBT non-discrimination ordinance and other city measures “shall not be valid.”

Enacted in February, the Charlotte ordinance sought to bar discrimination against LGBT people within the municipality. The provision against discrimination in public accommodations, such as by denying transgender people access to restrooms consistent with their gender identity, caused an uproar among anti-transgender forces.

Lawmakers in the state legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory cited the bathroom provision as the reason for passing HB2, which bars cities from enacting pro-LGBT ordinances and prohibits transgender people from using the public restroom in schools and government buildings in accordance with their gender identity.

The law resulted in an outcry from LGBT advocates who called for repeal as well as business leaders who cancelled expansions in the state, performers who nixed events there and athletic associations, including the National Basketball Association, which cancelled games in the state. The estimated economic loss to North Carolina — which also impacted Charlotte — was $400 million.

It’s not the first time the Charlotte City Council considered repealing the LGBT non-discrimination ordinance. The council considered such action in May and again in September, but ultimately declined to take that action.

The Charlotte City Council issued a statement asserting the city “continues its commitment to be a welcoming community that honors and respects all people,” suggesting it will revisit the issue of non-discrimination after HB2 repeal.

“The City of Charlotte is deeply dedicated to protecting the rights of all people from discrimination and, with House Bill 2 repealed, will be able to pursue that priority for our community,” the statement says. “There are many issues that require a positive and collaborative relationship between the City and State. The City pledges commitment to that partnership.”

Although LGBT advocates vigorously fought a deal to repeal the Charlotte LGBT ordinance in exchange for HB2 repeal under McCrory, they issued statements after the Charlotte vote accepting the plan now that Cooper has been elected.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said Cooper “has briefed us on a deal he brokered with state lawmakers” that would result in repeal of HB2.

“HB2 is precisely why North Carolinians went to the polls and ousted Gov. McCrory last month,” Griffin added. “It’s time to chart a new course guided by the state’s values of dignity and respect, not discrimination and hate — and to ensure non-discrimination protections exist in cities, towns and across the state of North Carolina.”

Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina, insisted the blame rested with the North Carolina Legislature, not Charlotte, for the economic harm caused to the state as a result of HB2.

“The Charlotte City Council and mayor did the right thing by passing their ordinance — HB2 is wrong,” Sgro said. “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.”

One LGBT advocate objecting to the deal is Simone Bell, southern regional director for Lambda Legal, who said it amounts to treating LGBT rights as “a bargaining chip.”

“Charlotte shouldn’t have had to repeal its ordinance in exchange for HB2 to be repealed,” Bell said. “LGBT people in North Carolina still need protection from discrimination. The right action is for the North Carolina Legislature to pass a statewide comprehensive civil rights bill that includes full protections for LGBT people.”

The legislative offices of Moore and Berger didn’t immediately respond to the Washington Blade’s request for comment on whether the legislature would in fact move forward with HB2 repeal now that Charlotte has repealed its pro-LGBT ordinance.

Graham Wilson, a McCrory spokesperson, confirmed the governor would convene a special session to repeal HB2, but said delay over rescinding the LGBT ordinance after earlier refusals affirms the outcry over the state law was always about politics.

“This 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,” Wilson said. “As promised, Gov. McCrory will call a special session.”

— from The Washington Blade

in NEWS
Related Posts

Dyke Day LA Draws 1,500+ ‘Dykes of All Genders’

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

June 11 event draws NY Times coverage By Susan Payne More than 1,500 people descended on Sycamore Grove Park for...

Catalina Island’s Inaugural Pride Celebration Sees Youthful Turnout

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

June 18 event draws hundreds of locals and visitors to island By Susan Payne Avalon, a small town of nearly...

Pride Moment Comes Full Circle for LGBTQ+ Advocate

June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022

Boys & Girls Club holds second annual Gabriel Valley Pride March By Susan Payne The Boys & Girls Clubs of...

Santa Monica’s Building Bridges Art Exchange Presents: J.J. Martin’s “Role Models”

June 28, 2022

June 28, 2022

A traveling exhibit in partnership with Indianilla Cultural Center, Mexico City and Real de Catorce Cultural Center, Real de Catorce,...

Los Angeles Frenchie Reaches Record Age Milestone for Its Breed, Surpassing Recent Life Expectancy Report by Three Fold

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Learn about Rocco the French bulldog  By Susan Payne Native to Brazil, Rocco the French bulldog has reached an age...

44 Years Later, MLB’s First Openly Gay Player Glenn Burke Now Celebrated by Dodgers

June 23, 2022

June 23, 2022

Glenn Burke celebrated at Dodgers Pride night By Susan Payne The Los Angeles Dodgers’ ninth annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night celebrated...

The Book Jewel Celebrates Pride Month as a Community

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Westchester bookstore hosting series of events this month The Book Jewel in Westchester is hosting several events this month that...

A Staple Tamales Vendor’s Truck Was Stolen. Friends of the Vendor Are Asking for LGBTQ+ Support to Bring Back Her Only Source of Income

June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022

By Susan Payne For nearly 16 years, a 52-year-old single mother of two has been serving the Los Angeles LGBTQ+...

LGBT Center Welcomes Incoming CEO Joe Hollendoner

June 17, 2022

June 17, 2022

By Susan Payne In an in-person sustaining donor event last November, longtime Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean for the...

Culver City Pride Ride and Rally Around the Corner

June 14, 2022

June 14, 2022

Sunday, June 26, 2022, 9 AM Pride Ride | 11 AM Rally Culver City’s second ever Pride celebration is set...

Police: Catholic High School Football Players Sexually Assault New Student

June 10, 2022

June 10, 2022

By Susan Payne Months of controversy over an alleged hazing scandal at a private high school in Santa Ana have...

Media Matters: Anti-Trans Violence Increases as TV News Coverage Drops 20%

June 10, 2022

June 10, 2022

By Susan Payne A report released by Media Matters’ LGBTQ Program found that national cable and corporate broadcast TV networks...

Oil Can Harry’s Named Historic-Cultural Monument

June 10, 2022

June 10, 2022

By Susan Payne For its historic and social significance to San Fernando Valley and the LGBTQ+ community, Oil Can Harry’s...

Music of Queen Preformed by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles at Fairmont Century Plaza

June 7, 2022

June 7, 2022

Free event June 18th at 7p.m. To celebrate PRIDE the Fairmont Century Plaza located will host an incredible performance by...