Legislators, gay rights groups press again for HB2 repeal

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The groups held a news conference Thursday. (WTVD)

North Carolina legislators and representatives of gay rights groups are trying again to make the case that House Bill 2 should be repealed and replaced with legislation to protect LGBT people from discrimination statewide.

RELATED: Governor Cooper: 'Urgent' need to repeal HB2

Democratic lawmakers filed a pair of bills designed to repeal HB2 on Thursday.

House Bill 82 is a two-part bill that calls for a clean repeal of HB2 and adds statewide anti-discrimination protections.

Primary sponsors of HB82 are Representative Pricey Harrison (D-57th District), Representative Susan C. Fisher (D-114th District), and Representative Deb Butler (D-18th District).

CLICK HERE TO READ HB82

House Bill 78 is a similar bill, sponsored by Representative Cecil Brockman (D-60th District).

CLICK HERE TO READ HB78

Democratic leaders say they hope to get a hearing and vote to repeal HB2.

The news conference at the Legislative Building against HB2 comes as worries increase by some that the law will prevent the state from being awarded NCAA championship events for the next five years. A sports marketing group told lawmakers this week the NCAA is supposed to start considering host bids very soon. The ACC could also pull future events like baseball from Durham.
The Republican-controlled General Assembly last year approved the law that prohibits broad local and state anti-discrimination ordinances covering sexual orientation or gender identity. It also directs transgender people to use public bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates.

House Bill 2, which was approved by the Republican legislature and then-GOP Gov. Pat McCrory on March 23, was in response to a Charlotte City Council ordinance approved in February 2016 that would have extended protections to gays and lesbians as well as bisexual and transgender people while at hotels, restaurants, and stores. Charlotte would have allowed transgender people to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity.

Democrats have file a new repeal proposal that includes statewide anti-discrimination protections.

"It adds several additional classes that include marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military and veteran status, age and genetic information. These added protections will apply to housing, employment, public accommodations, credit, insurance and education," explained Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-57th District).

But supporters of the law say HB2 protects privacy and safety.

"The very people who are holding the press conference today are the ones who agitated for the passage of the Charlotte ordinance and wouldn't accept no compromise in the Charlotte ordinance. So why should we think they'll compromise now?" offered Francis De Luca, President of the conservative Civitas Institute. "Until the other side, until Governor Cooper, the Democrats and the gay lobbying groups are willing to sit down at the table and actually compromise, it's not going to get repealed."

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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