State lawmakers are making another attempt to repeal House Bill 2, the controversial state law passed last year that requires people to use the public bathrooms that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate.
A bipartisan group of North Carolina House members filed a bill to repeal the law Wednesday afternoon. Republican Chuck McGrady is leading the effort.
“I think I can get a majority of Republicans and a majority of Democrats on this bill, if Governor Cooper will help me get those Democratic votes,” McGrady said Wednesday evening.
The proposed measure would give the state authority over all multi-stall bathrooms. It would also mandate that cities wanting to pass non-discrimination ordinances give the legislature a 30-day warning. That would be followed a 90-day enactment window during which time opponents could gather signatures, stopping any local measure and sending it before the voters as a referendum in the next election.
That doesn’t sit well with Democratic House Leader Darren Jackson.
“The referendum is just a non-starter for me,” Jackson said. “I can’t speak for my caucus, but I never think it’s a good idea to put the rights of minority on the ballot. I just think that’s counter to what our constitution is about, and what our democracy is, and I think it’s a bad idea.”
In a statement Wednesday night, Governor Roy Cooper said he, too, has concerns.
"We must repeal House Bill 2 and I remain committed to getting that done,” Cooper said. “But I am concerned that this legislation as written fails the basic test of restoring our reputation, removing discrimination, and bringing jobs and sports back to North Carolina. I will keep working with the legislature."
It’s not immediately clear if the proposal has enough votes to advance through the House, and the Senate has not signed off on the bill. Legislators tried, and failed, to repeal House Bill 2 during a special session in December.