RALEIGH — Outgoing Governor Pat McCrory has called a special session of the general assembly on Wednesday, Dec. 20, to repeal HB2. McCrory said in a video message from the governor’s office that he will make good on his long-standing promise to repeal the bill, now that the Charlotte City Council has voted 10-0 to repeal the LGBT protection ordinance that originally spurred Republicans to file HB2, the so-called “bathroom bill.”
The bill, which passed in March, led to acrimony between Democratic and Republic legislators. McCrory’s office repeatedly claimed the bill was a response to political overreach by the city of Charlotte. However, the bill increasingly developed a toxic public profile.
In early April, as performing artists and businesses reacted negatively to the bill and threatened boycotts, Rep. Susi Hamilton called the bill “discrimination by omission.” As athletic events threatened to leave North Carolina, the bill became increasingly notorious – less for its literal content and more for the perceived malice behind its passage. By October, McCrory told the Family Research Council in Raleigh that he and his wife were being “shunned for a political disagreement, a values disagreement.”
This week’s move by McCrory to repeal HB2 could be seen as both an attempt to honor the legal basis of the Governor’s office original reaction to Charlotte’s perceived overreach, but also an attempt by McCrory to rescue his own political legacy from the economic and social backlash to HB2.
Rep. Susi Hamilton, who has been consistently critical of HB2, and who publicly called for McCrory to concede during the tumultuous post-election period, demurred from criticizing any ostensibly self-serving motivations. Hamilton, instead, focused on bringing a difficult political year to a close, telling Port City Daily:
“Just like anyone else, we are looking forward to spending the holidays with our families, but I’m happy to come to Raleigh to repeal this discriminatory bill, if that’s why we’re being called back. I co-sponsored the bill to repeal HB2 on the first day of the short session this summer, no one wants to see this repealed more than I do. It’s my hope that this will be the case and that we will not see any additional legislation introduced tomorrow, as we did last week.”
Across the aisle, Rep. Ted Davis Jr. declined to discuss how he would vote in Wednesday’s special session, telling Port City Daily: “I have no comment on that. I’ll go to Raleigh, I’ll convene and discuss with my Republican colleagues, and I will vote my conscience.”
Davis was involved with a Republican attempt to rewrite HB2 over the summer (an early version of the bill authored by Davis et. al, can be viewed here). The attempt ultimately failed. Davis told WHQR in late September, “Very unfortunately, at the end, it just all fell apart.”
Calls and emails to Rep. Holly Grange (R) and Rep. Francis Iler (R) were not immediately returned. Port City Daily will update this article with any official comments from the representatives or their offices.