Outgoing NC Governor Calls Special Session Over HB2 Bathroom Law

The governor came under fire earlier this year for signing HB2 into law.

— -- Outgoing North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says he is calling a special legislative session on Wednesday to "reconsider existing state legislation" after the Charlotte City Council rescinded its LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance that led to the controversial House Bill 2, known as the bathroom bill.

HB2 requires public schools, public college campuses and government agencies to designate multiple-occupancy bathrooms and changing facilities, such as locker rooms, for use according to the "biological sex" stated on people's birth certificate. Under the law, transgender people may not use bathrooms and changing facilities that correspond to their gender identity unless they get the sex on their birth certificate changed.

The Charlotte City Council voted 10-0 on Monday to rescind the ordinance that led to HB2, The Charlotte Observer reported.

After the vote, Gov.-elect Roy Cooper said legislative leaders promised there will be a special session to repeal HB2.

"Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore assured me that as a result of Charlotte's vote, a special session will be called for Tuesday to repeal HB2 in full," Cooper said in a statement. "I hope they will keep their word to me and, with the help of Democrats in the legislature, HB2 will be repealed in full. Full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state."

Then McCrory said in a video message that he would call the special session for Wednesday.

"Now that the Charlotte ordinance has finally been repealed, the expectation of privacy in our showers, bathrooms and locker rooms is restored and protected under previous state law," he said. "I have always publicly advocated a repeal of the overreaching Charlotte ordinance. But those efforts were blocked by [Charlotte Mayor] Jennifer Roberts, Roy Cooper and other Democratic activists."

"This sudden reversal with little notice after the gubernatorial election has ended sadly proves this entire issue, originated by the political left, was all about politics, at the expense of Charlotte and the entire state of North Carolina," McCrory said. "But as I promised months ago, if the Charlotte ordinance was repealed, I would call our General Assembly into a special session to reconsider existing state legislation passed earlier this year. And I'm doing just that for this Wednesday. But it should also be noted that the whole issue of gender identity is a national issue that will be resolved by the courts and the United States Justice Department. Like all of us, I look forward to that resolution and to working with our state legislators in the coming days."

A statement earlier Monday from McCrory's press secretary Graham Wilson said, "As promised, Gov. McCrory will call a special session" but did not give a date.

McCrory came under fire earlier this year for signing HB2 into law.

The law's supporters say it's necessary to protect women and children from sexual offenders who might claim to be transgender in order to access bathrooms of the opposite sex.

Cooper, a Democrat, has called HB2 "one of the most discriminatory laws in the country" and argued that the bill should be repealed.

The NBA announced in July that it was moving the 2017 All-Star Weekend out of Charlotte over concerns about HB2.

McCrory conceded the North Carolina gubernatorial race to Cooper earlier this month, weeks after requesting a vote recount.

Monday's vote by the Charlotte City Council is dependent on state legislators' fully repealing HB2 by Dec. 31, according to The Associated Press.