CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Democrats are to blame for the failure to reach a compromise that could have paved the way to repeal a state law limiting protections for LGBT people, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday, adding that the matter will have to be decided in the courts.
“Three times this year, including the last four days, I’ve tried to work with leadership, both in the House and Senate, and with your local leadership to find the solution,” McCrory said while speaking to the Rotary Club of Charlotte. “And there are people who don’t want that solution, including my opponent, including some of the leadership right here in Charlotte, and including some people in the legislature.”
McCrory and legislative leaders had said they would consider repealing House Bill 2 in exchange for Charlotte repealing its ordinance extending protections for transgender people, but Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said the state could repeal its law without action by the city. The City Council held a zoning meeting Monday night without discussing its ordinance.
Speaking across town, state Attorney General Roy Cooper said McCrory should accept responsibility for the law that has led the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA to take a series of championships from the state and cost millions in lost jobs and canceled performances.
Cooper, McCrory’s opponent in the November election, said the governor has blamed “me, the president, the city of Charlotte, the liberal media and Bruce Springsteen” for HB2.
“HB2 is solely responsible for the economic damage (to N.C.),” he said. “We have to put pressure on the governor and legislative leadership to call a special session now to repeal HB2.”
The governor said neither Charlotte nor the legislature will solve the impasse — nor will the NCAA, the NBA or the ACC. The NBA announced earlier this summer that it was moving its 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte over the law.
“The issue is this: How do we define gender in the future?” McCrory said. “Is it based upon your anatomy, or is it based upon what you think you are or how you like to express yourself?
McCrory said solving the issue will have to rise above cheap politics, boycotts and economic threats. He said the issue will be decided by the courts, and he added that he would respect the court system and the process.
Speaking for nearly 25 minutes, McCrory took two questions from the audience and posed for photos with a number of people in attendance. Although aides cleared a path for him to leave the ballroom, the governor reversed course and exited the room in the opposite direction and behind the dais, avoiding reporters and TV cameramen.