Opinion: Is HB2 Repeal Still Possible?

And if so, is the damage done already?
YMCA of Charlotte
Governor Roy Cooper speaks Monday during the McCrorey YMCA’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast.

Talk about HB2 repeal is starting up again. I’ll believe it when I see it.

That’s not to say it won’t happen after next Wednesday, when the General Assembly convenes for its long session. But we went down this dismal road just last month. The House Republican caucus went haywire over perceived trickery by the Charlotte City Council. Even after the council hastily undid its “trickery,” the deal still fell through. I don’t know what might assuage the legislative club-ends of the N.C. Values Coalition, a group that sees sexual predators behind every stall door; nothing, probably. Repeal now would require Republicans to cross over. Governor Cooper seems to think there’s enough of them. Of course, Cooper also thought he had a deal in December.

One question to consider now is how much economic and cultural damage is permanent, even with HB2 repeal. There’s no way to know until it happens. The NBA and NCAA have suggested they’d bring events back with repeal. But you have to consider the prospect that they won’t. If you’re going to play a football game in December, Orlando isn’t exactly hell on Earth.

I’m not arguing against repeal. Cooper and legislators of both parties ought to do what’s necessary to make it happen as soon as possible, and City Council members ought to refrain from adopting a cosmetic nondiscrimination ordinance that’d be invalid from the moment of its passage.

I’m just saying that the time for warding off damage to the state has come and gone. The best we can hope for now is a start to the cleanup job, and even that might be too much to hope for.


Categories: The Buzz