The Latest: McCrory blames left-wing groups for no repeal

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Posted: Dec 21, 2016 11:07 PM
The Latest: McCrory blames left-wing groups for no repeal

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on efforts to repeal House Bill 2 in North Carolina (all times local):

11 p.m.

Outgoing North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory blamed left-wing groups for scuttling an agreement that would have repealed an anti-LGBT law.

The Republican called the special session Wednesday, but it ended without approved legislation to get rid of House Bill 2.

McCrory said in a release that "bipartisan good faith agreements" were again blocked by the political left.

Gay rights groups and others who pushed for repeal blamed Republican lawmakers for failing to keep its promise to act after the Charlotte City Council repealed its ordinance. Democrat Gov.-elect Roy Cooper says GOP leaders have broken their trust with the people of the state.

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9:30 p.m.

North Carolina Gov.-elect Roy Cooper says Republican legislators had a chance to do the right thing by repealing a contentious LGBT law, but they failed to live up to their promise.

The Democrat said Wednesday night there had been a bipartisan deal that called for a full repeal but that GOP leaders at the legislature went back on their word by adding a moratorium that he said "doubled down on discrimination."

The Senate's top leader disagreed with that assessment, saying Charlotte city leaders had already broken a promise by failing to fully repeal a non-discrimination ordinance that had led to the passage of House Bill 2 back in March.

Cooper told reporters he had worked on forging a deal for about 10 days. He says he'll keep working on repeal because the law is a "stain" on the state that's resulting in lost jobs and sporting events.

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8:25 p.m.

Lawmakers and interest groups are trading accusations after a special session in North Carolina ended without approving legislation to address the state's "bathroom bill."

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger criticized Democrats on Wednesday night for failing to support legislation that would have repealed the law known as House Bill 2. Berger told reporters it appears Gov.-elect Roy Cooper and his fellow Democrats want to keep HB2 as in issue.

Cooper was to hold a news conference about the session later Wednesday.

The sticking point was a measure in the Senate that would have barred from local governments from passing ordinances that expanded non-discrimination protections until next summer.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin says Republican lawmakers are the ones that have hurt LGBT people by failing to follow through on a deal to repeal the law.

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7:35 p.m.

A deal has fallen apart to undo the North Carolina law known as the "bathroom bill" in a sign of the state's bitter political divide.

The state's legislature was called into a special session Wednesday to consider repealing the law known as HB2 after months of pressure, including lost jobs and canceled sporting events and concerts.

But the Republican-controlled legislature showed once again that it preferred to go its own way.

The latest special session was called by Gov. Pat McCrory after Charlotte gutted a local nondiscrimination ordinance that Republicans had blamed for necessitating the statewide law.

Among other things, HB2 requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding with the sex on their birth certificate in many public buildings.

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5:50 p.m.

Two openly LGBT members of the North Carolina House are pleading with their colleagues to repeal a state law limiting nondiscrimination protections before the General Assembly adjourns its special session.

Democrats Reps. Chris Sgro (skro) of Greensboro and Cecil Brockman of High Point spoke late Wednesday as House members considered and passed a resolution laying out when the legislature would adjourn for good.

Republicans have been unable so far to craft legislation repealing House Bill 2 that enough of their House members would support. This has led to hours of waiting and closed-door meetings by House and Senate members.

Sgro said he can't go home in good conscience without the full and unequivocal repeal of HB2. Sgro is also head of the gay rights groups Equality North Carolina. Brockman said the law has been a disaster for the state. Corporate CEOs, entertainers and sports leagues have opposed HB2 as well.

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5 p.m.

Crowds at the North Carolina legislature are keeping watch on action to repeal a law that limits protections for LGBT citizens.

A repeal bill was seemingly on its way to passage in the state Senate on Wednesday before a packed visitors gallery and overflow observers watching through glass walls. The mood was much more docile than the angry demonstrations of last week.

That's when Republican legislators pushed through surprise measures that stripped incoming Democratic Gov.-elect Roy Cooper of a range of powers enjoyed by outgoing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

Sixty-six-year-old retiree Jennifer Bremer of Chapel Hill witnessed last week's tumult and wanted to see whether lawmakers really repealed the controversial law known as House Bill 2. She says there haven't been any surprises so far.

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4:45 p.m.

Debate has been delayed on Republican legislation to repeal North Carolina's law limiting LGBT protections and directing which restrooms transgender people can use after Democrats spoke out against the measure.

The legislation considered Wednesday would get rid of the law known as House Bill 2. But it also would prevent local governments from approving ordinances affecting public accommodations and access to restrooms for six months.

Democrats oppose the moratorium as falling short of a complete repeal. Sen. Floyd McKissick of Durham says people are worried the moratorium will become a permanent ban.

Senate leader Phil Berger says the bill takes the law back to where it was before Charlotte approved a nondiscrimination ordinance that led to HB2.

Senate Republicans are in a private meeting deciding what to do next.

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3:15 p.m.

Perhaps North Carolina's most influential politician is introducing legislation to repeal a state law that has cost the state jobs and millions of dollars.

State Senate leader Phil Berger is the primary sponsor of legislation filed Wednesday that would repeal the law passed in March dictating which bathroom transgender people must use and limiting LGBT protections.

The bill adds a wrinkle: It would block local governments from passing ordinances regulating employment practices or public accommodations related to restrooms, showers or changing facilities for six months.

Republican lawmakers say they passed the law only after Charlotte expanded nondiscrimination protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations. Charlotte's City Council on Monday and again Wednesday voted to eliminate the ordinance.

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11:30 a.m.

The North Carolina legislature has gaveled in its special session to consider repealing a law limiting LGBT protections that it approved nine months ago, but some Republicans still prefer to keep House Bill 2.

The House and Senate began meeting Wednesday morning but went into recess. Gov. Pat McCrory called the session after the Charlotte City Council this week gutted its expanded nondiscrimination ordinance. That ordinance led to HB2's passage in March.

GOP Rep. Jeff Collins is against HB2's repeal and on the floor Wednesday challenged whether the session had been lawfully called.

The Senate's presiding officer — Lt. Gov. Dan Forest — put out a statement saying he doesn't favor repeal and worried it would open the door for another local government to "take us down this path again." Forest only votes in the Senate when there's a tie.

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9:35 a.m.

City leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, have held an emergency meeting and taken more action designed to get a statewide law off the books that limits LGBT rights and designates which restrooms transgender people can use in public schools and government buildings.

The Charlotte City Council voted 7-2 on Wednesday to repeal the entire city ordinance members passed in February. It's part of a deal to get the state legislature to repeal House Bill 2 in a special session later in the day.

The council already had acted on Monday to throw out parts of the ordinance addressing the expansion of protections on things such as sexual orientation and gender identity when it came to public accommodations.

But some House Republicans are unhappy that Charlotte left in place some expanded non-discrimination protections required of businesses entering contracts with the city. The council's action Wednesday is designed to address their concerns.

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8:30 a.m.

North Carolina lawmakers are meeting Wednesday to consider repealing a state law that limited LGBT rights, including which restrooms transgender people can use in public schools and government buildings.

But a last-minute obstacle has come up in the negotiations between state lawmakers and Charlotte officials, whose ordinance banning discrimination prompted the state law.

Rep. Chuck McGrady of Hendersonville says some House Republicans are concerned that the city did not repeal its entire ordinance Monday.

The city council is meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday to discuss their nondiscrimination ordinance and HB2, as the state law in known.

The House Republican Caucus is also meeting Wednesday morning.

The parts of the city's ordinance that weren't dropped at Monday's meeting weren't affected by HB2, but there are still some concerns among some lawmakers.

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3:30 a.m.

North Carolina's legislature is reconvening to see if enough lawmakers are willing to repeal a 9-month-old law that limited LGBT rights, including which bathrooms transgender people can use in public schools and government buildings.

House and Senate members plan to meet in the capital Wednesday for a special session called by outgoing GOP Gov. Pat McCrory.

The session is being held two days after the Charlotte City Council gutted an ordinance that in March led the Republican-controlled General Assembly to pass House Bill 2.

For months the state's Republican leaders said they were willing to consider repealing the law if Charlotte acted first to undo its expanded antidiscrimination ordinance. HB2 was a key issue in McCrory's election with Democrat Roy Cooper, who defeated McCrory by about 10,000 votes.