NORTH CAROLINA: Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper Lays Out HB2 Repeal Plan In Op-Ed For Charlotte Observer

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper writes for the Charlotte Observer:

North Carolinians are tired of hearing about this. As I travel across the state, people from Murphy to Manteo tell me that they want their elected officials to come together to solve this problem before HB2 does even more damage.

We came close to repealing it in December. The Republican leadership in the legislature committed to repeal HB 2 if I persuaded the Charlotte City Council to repeal its nondiscrimination ordinance. I kept my commitment. They did not. However, in order to break the log jam, I have proposed a common sense compromise that includes three parts:

▪ Repeal House Bill 2. It’s time to take this harmful law off the books immediately.

▪ Strengthen punishments for criminals who violate the safety, security and privacy of people in public bathrooms or dressing rooms. I believe this is a manufactured issue and it’s wrong to suggest LGBT individuals are a threat. But time and again, Republicans contend HB2 is about security and safety. This addresses those concerns and increases penalties for crimes committed against anyone in this setting while also removing discrimination against the LGBT community.

▪ Require local governments to give the legislature and the public a 30-day notice before passing new non-discrimination ordinances. Local governments are the closest to the people they represent, and I believe that they should be able to make these decisions on their own. This compromise ensures that there is time for input on new ordinances.

This common sense compromise addresses concerns from both sides. It is a path forward to bringing back businesses and sporting events. It is reasonable, and it will begin to wipe the stain off our state’s reputation.

  • i have said it before, i’m always really confused about the right’s obsession with “bathroom crime.”

    i’ve been in a lot of bathrooms, like everybody else. i’ve had some wild experiences in some of them, even. but trans rapists have never been one of those.

    i try, and fail, to understand why the right wants this to be one of their signature issues. i guess they think it motivates a lot of voters, but i don’t really believe that it does. the best reason i can think of to explain why they keep on with this crap is distraction. going on and on about bathrooms and transfolk is so much easier than working out a budget that addresses the needs of the state.

    • Todd20036

      Now, about those wild experiences….

    • fuow

      Actually, it’s been enormously successful with the low-information voters for decades.

      • -M-

        It’s the simple sound bites that fit with their prejudices.

      • JCF

        Even when non-discrimination ordinances were just for “homosexuals”, way back in the day, ‘phobes STILL were All About Bathrooms/Locker rooms.

    • -It’s to help make the people fearful, because fear is easier to control.

      -It helps give the impression that Republicans are “for the people” and more competent then Democrats.

      -Similar to the wall dividing Mexico, and just as useless, it gives the special snowflakes comfort at the ignorance of any danger, real or imaginary. Or to put it another way, it makes them FEEL safe rather then actually BEING safe.

    • Marti386

      “I have said it before, i’m always really confused about the right’s obsession with “bathroom crime.”

      It serves a specific purpose. That purpose is to portray trans people as perverts, as dangerous. It helps them so much more if they can convince everyone that we’re inhuman monsters, undeserving of equal rights. It’s how you turn the populace against a specific group.

  • Boreal

    Cooper has made the mistake of thinking that a compromise will entice the republicans to be reasonable. He is wrong.

    • Silver Badger

      It is a shame Cooper didn’t learn from experience.

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        • Boreal

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          • Menergy

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          • Joe in PA

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      • Mike__in_Houston

        Obama’s experience as well.

    • Pluto Animus

      Cooper knows full well that they won’t cooperate.
      He’s just giving them ample opportunity to address the ‘problem’ that they claim exists.
      When they fail to take his offer, Cooper can point to that fact as proof of their bad faith.
      Not bad.

      • timncguy

        the Rs have already labeled Cooper’s compromise as the “look but don’t touch” law. Allowing men into women’s locker rooms and showers to look as long as they don’t touch.

        They are stuck on the theory that allowing trans women to use women’s facilities also allows men to claim to be trans for a day.

        What needs to happen in order to give the Rs nothing to complain about is a way to stop the claim that a man can just decide to be trans one day and go into women’s facilities. If a man wants to pretend to be trans to gain access to womens’ facilities only to look and not touch, he should still face legal consequences. And, claiming to be trans should not be a legal defense unless you can show that you are living your life as a woman. Your work life, your home life, your school life, whatever. You need to be presenting yourself in public as a woman on a daily basis in order to justify being in womens’ facilities or face the consequences. That’s the only way any law can be put together that will come close to satisfying the Rs.

        • FlKeysKevin

          I have to concede, “look but don’t touch” is brilliant positioning. It’s short, mean, and to the point. And unfortunately, while your points about the public education that needs to take place are spot-on, a snappy mean slogan will always win over a complex educational process.

        • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

          I would feel safe in suggesting that 100% of assaults by men in women’s bathrooms are committed by guys who don’t bother to throw on a dress first.

      • 2patricius2

        I think he should get to the point, and propose a bill that would outlaw Drumpf from the locker rooms of girls and women.

      • Gerry Fisher


    • Gerry Fisher

      I don’t know what you’re expecting from him. He’s dealing with a Republican dominated legislature. Perhaps if you look at this less as an attempt to compromise with legislators and more as a communication to the electorate (“I’m the adult in the room”), then maybe he can use his bully pulpit to help defeat some of the most obstinate Republicans at the ballot box.

      His power is limited.

      • Boreal

        Since his power is limited, he has nothing to lose by calling out republican hypocrisy.

  • Tawreos

    The GOP won’t compromise on this easily. They are hating for god and if that hate causes problems then they will just double down on the hate and figure that will work.

  • Michael R

    The party that thinks men in women’s bathrooms is a problem
    and the Trump administration is just slightly off course .

    • greenmanTN

      Oh, the humanity!

  • BobSF_94117

    Require local governments to give the legislature and the public a
    30-day notice before passing new non-discrimination ordinances.

    Uh… I guess he had to give them something. Ugly idea, though, that local ordinances require notification to the legislature.

    • Adam King

      Terrible idea.

      • Todd20036

        I think it’s meant to stop the GOP from pulling the same shit they did with HB2. They forced it through in one evening.

        This clause would prevent such a process.

        • Adam King

          If it’s as reported, it restricts local governments, not the legislature. How would that “prevent such a process”?

    • Beagle

      And compounding the ugliness by limiting the notice requirement to non-discrimination ordinances. If notice is necessary for one type of ordinance, it should be necessary for all — or at least explain why one type is singled out.

  • olandp

    We all know this isn’t about safety and security, it is about hating on the trans community, and by extension us. We are using the wrong approach though. We need to point out again and again that it isn’t trans men and women or gay men or lesbians who commit these imaginary “crimes” but heterosexual sexual predators.

  • Todd20036

    If the GOP were prone to compromise, they would have demanded Obamacare be tweaked, not repealed.

    It’s a good compromise, if the GOP were a thinking party. But instead, they are merely a bunch of Nazis, hating on the one minority it’s “ok” to hate on.

  • Nychta

    When I saw the word “compromise” I did not feel reassured.

  • Richard B

    The good news is Governor Cooper is trying to do the right thing, but there is no indication it will work..
    HB2 was based on the NC legislature’s religious animus of the LGBTQ and republican politics. These legislators speak in absolutes and don’t compromise, unless it hits them hard in their pocketbooks. The boycott of North Carolina boycott should be expanded and more precisely focused to hit key legislator’s businesses and inflict real pain to their pocketbooks in order to get them to come around and capitulate. The real answer is to work hard and flip the districts of the worst of the worst of them in the next election cycle..

  • Mike

    Is this 30-day notice only for LGBT ordinances? Forget it. And what’s the point, are communities expected to make changes to their new ordinances based on input from gay haters, as if pro-LGBT policy is a kind of temporary insanity that needs to be reined in by cooler heads?

    That’s a lousy compromise. Come up with something better, something that is an affront to the dignity of the homophobes instead of to the good people of North Carolina.

    • Baltimatt

      It says non-discrimination ordinances, not specifying what type. It could be anything–right or left handedness, hair color, political philosophy, etc.

      • The_Wretched

        the rich and the poor may starve equally

      • Mike

        If only it were random, loopy prejudices against things like left handedness or hair color. This is about all the usual suspects: race, creed, sex, color, national origin, and sexuality.

        Those poor Southern cupcakes have been seething since 1964, and this is their big moment to serve up some revenge, ice cold. I say we throw it back in their faces.

        If a mugger threatens “your money or your life,” but agrees in the end to take only half your money and leave you only half dead, that’s not a win-win compromise. There should be no compromise of morality or ethics on this issue.

        • Baltimatt

          You asked me if it was just for LGBT ordinances. I answered your question. Different places have different categories for which discrimination is prohibited. For example, the District of Columbia prohibits the following types of discrimination.

          It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice to do any of the following acts, wholly or partially for a discriminatory reason based upon the actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, family responsibilities, genetic information, disability, matriculation, or political affiliation of any individual.

          • Mike

            I appreciate the answer. I’m not bitching about you, I’m bitching about North Carolina. I think their fear of everyone they perceive to be different from themselves is pathological, and any compromise should be strictly artificial, to make them think they got their way while they actually did not. Giving in with a 30-day waiting period for ordinances requiring basic human decency does not strike me as a commendable compromise.

  • Rex

    Common sense in government – pssst. Like that’s gonna work.

  • Matt Foreman

    So pathetic. He wouldn’t be governor but for opposition to HB2. HB2 needs to go, clean and simple.

    • JCF

      It’s the RETHUG phobes who are pathetic. Cooper is just trying his best.

  • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

    They will not compromise, because gawd is on their side and they know what he wants.

  • ajchar

    The Rethuglicans in the legislature don’t care. HB2 is only hurting the big cities whose governments are all Democratic. There is no way they’ll take any compromise that is offered.

    HB2 is here to stay, unfortunately. Gov Cooper doesn’t have the power to undo it, or even to get the Legislature to undo it.

    Sad fact of life 🙁

    • Gianni

      Right, but the people have the power by voting those Republifucks out of office in upcoming elections.