Charlotte leaders hold off regarding city law that prompted House Bill 2

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – Charlotte’s mayor and city council decided against holding any discussion or vote related to its nondiscrimination ordinance Monday after LGBT advocates criticized council members for considering repealing the ordinance.

The council was scheduled to hear a report about the economic impact of House Bill 2, but it was reported some council members also wanted to hold a vote to repeal the city’s ordinance that prompted state legislators to pass House Bill 2.

“I’ve been talking with council members and others throughout this day. Collectively, we concluded a discussion of HB2 by the City Council tonight would not be helpful,” said Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

It’s unclear if there was enough support among council members to repeal the ordinance, or if there were enough votes to overcome a potential veto by Mayor Roberts.

The move comes as city leaders have been in discussion with state lawmakers about potential changes to HB2.

House Speaker Tim Moore (R) acknowledged the potential for “tweaks” to the bill, but it’s unclear what those would be.

Gov. Pat McCrory (R) has urged legislators to repeal a provision that took away the ability to bring a discrimination case in state court.

“This issue when it comes to the bathrooms, locker rooms and showers, is non-negotiable, that we’re going to continue to fight even if that means fighting the federal government,” said Speaker Moore.

Though HB2 prevented Charlotte’s ordinance from taking effect, Moore says city leaders need to address the ordinance they passed earlier this year.

“(House Bill 2), that is now the law of the land. And so, if there’s any changes that are made to it, we’re going to need to see the City of Charlotte make some moves first,” he said. “For any conversations to happen, Charlotte needs to take a look at what it did and needs to be the first to make any movement before there’s any conversation.”

Erica Lachowitz, a transgender woman, thanked Charlotte leaders.

“House Bill 2 is the bane of our existence,” she said.

The public comment period at the city council meeting was limited to 10 speakers. Of those who spoke, all opposed House Bill 2.

When Rev. Flip Benham tried to speak in support of HB2, the mayor told him he was out of order and threatened to have him arrested if he didn’t leave. He said he signed up to speak. He left without being arrested.

Leaders in the House and Senate tell CBS North Carolina they don’t have any meetings scheduled with Charlotte’s leaders to discuss HB2, so it’s unclear what effect Monday’s decision by the city council will have on the debate about whether to make changes to HB2.

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