House Democrats in North Carolina today filed a bill to repeal the state's anti-LGBT law, House Bill 2.
“It is never too late to do the right thing,” Rep. Darren Jackson, the lead sponsor of House Bill 946, told Raleigh newspaper The News & Observer. “It is time for the governor and the General Assembly to make it clear that we are focused on creating jobs.” His bill would repeal HB 2 in full.
HB 2 bans local governments from including sexual orientation and gender identity in their antidiscrimination ordinances. The law also specifically targets transgender people by requring them to use public bathroom and locker room facilities that don’t match their gender identity, when these facilities are located in government buildings.
Jackson's bill, however, currently has no support from Republicans, who control both chambers of the legislature, and he has not arranged with chamber leaders to secure a committee hearing this legislative session.
He told the newspaper that he expects other legislators will file bills that address portions of HB 2, as Gov. Pat McCrory has called for repeal of a section that sets up roadblocks to workplace discrimination lawsuits, but Jackson believes the only way to undo the economic consequences of HB 2 is a full repeal of the anti-LGBT law.
Cosponsors of his bill include House members Grier Martin, Graig Meyer, Ed Hanes, Rosa Gill, Yvonne Holley, and Chris Sgro, the only openly gay member of the legislature. Rep. Billy Richardson is one of only 11 Democrats to have voted in favor of HB 2, but he is now calling for a full repeal, and is likely to sign on to Jackson's legislation.
Today Time Warner Cable News reported that HB 2 has cost North Carolina 1,750 jobs and more than "$77 million-worth of investments and visitor spending."