Eight Methodist bishops in North Carolina are calling for the repeal of House Bill 2.
In a message posted on the United Methodist Bishops in North Carolina's website Monday, two current and six retired bishops said they have observed the "harm" North Carolina's "hurried passage" of HB2 has had to "individuals, to our economy, to our engagements with other states and nations, and to our future."
House Bill 2, which was approved by the Republican legislature and GOP Gov. Pat McCrory on March 23, was in response to a Charlotte City Council ordinance approved in February 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.
HB2 also blocked people from filing discrimination suits against their employers and prevents local governments from setting minimum wage standards.
Since the passage of the controversial law, a string of entertainers and musicians - including Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, and Cirque du Soleil - have canceled shows in North Carolina. The NBA has also said a change in HB2 is needed for the 2017 All-Star Game to stay in Charlotte.
The bishops call for the repeal of HB2 as lawmakers convene for their short session, which ends in July.
"We urge all United Methodists to engage in prayer, in study of the issues, in patient listening and persevering conversation with others who hold differing opinion, and in courageous advocacy for what is right, just and good for all people in North Carolina," the bishops said in a statement.
Click here to read more from the United Methodist Bishops in North Carolina.
United Methodist bishops in NC call for repeal of HB2