North Carolina officials decided to keep the state’s “bathroom bill” after being unable to reach an agreement to repeal it.
State legislators voted to keep House Bill 2, the state’s transgender bathroom bill, after being called into a special legislation. The Senate voted down HB2 in a 32-16 vote, while the House adjourned without voting on the bill.
“I’m disappointed for the people of North Carolina — for the jobs that people won’t have. I’m disappointed that we did not remove the stain on our great state,” Governor-elect Roy Cooper said after the vote.
HB2 banned transgenders from using the bathroom according to their gender identity. It did not include gender identity and sexual orientation under anti-discrimination protections.
The repeal was intended to be part of a deal made with the city of Charlotte. For months, Republicans said they passed HB2 in reaction to a Charlotte city ordinance that allowed transgenders to use the bathroom of their choice.
Charlotte repealed its ordinance Monday with the expectation that HB2 would be rolled back in the special session Wednesday.
Republicans added a special provision to the bill that stopped some Democrats from voting for the repeal. Republicans attached a six-month ban that would prevent cities from making extra protections for gay and transgender citizens.
“This wasn’t the deal. This bill breaks this deal. Charlotte would have not repealed its ordinance if this was the deal,” said Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Democrat from Charlotte.
Cooper called the provision a “doubling down” on discrimination.
“This moratorium that sprung up in the final hours doubles down on discrimination for an indefinite period of time,” Cooper said.
The bathroom bill led to protests from many celebrities and businesses. PayPal refused to bring approximately 400 jobs to the state, while the NBA threatened to pull its 2017 All-Star Game from North Carolina.
The bill also stood as a key issue in the 2016 gubernatorial race. Outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory defended his stance for the bill, while Copper promised to repeal it.