Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday said he has consistently supported the bathroom provision in House Bill 2, and never intended repealing it if a repeal would allow for a new definition of gender identity.
McCrory and Republican legislative leaders last month said a deal with Charlotte was in the works in which the General Assembly could vote to repeal HB2 if the city first repealed its wide-ranging anti-discrimination ordinance.
The governor’s comment in a recent TV interview on the Christian Broadcasting Network sparked accusations this week from his opponent’s campaign that he had been misleading in previous public remarks when he said HB2 could be repealed.
The interviewer asked McCrory if he had ever considered repealing the bill.
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“No,” McCrory said, “not based on the concept of changing the definition of gender.”
The Charlotte ordinance, which HB2 overrode, would have allowed people to use the public restroom corresponding with their gender identity, accommodating those who are transgender. HB2 requires people in government facilities to use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate.
“Either he was lying then or he’s lying now,” Jamal Little, spokesman for Roy Cooper, the Democratic attorney general running against McCrory, said in a news release. “If Governor McCrory is going to continue to refuse to repeal this bad law, he should at least be honest with North Carolinians about his intentions.”
Asked about it on Tuesday, the governor said he has consistently opposed the bathroom provision in the Charlotte ordinance. Other provisions in HB2 could be reconsidered but Charlotte had to take the first step and repeal its ordinance, he said, which would have eliminated the need for that provision in the law.
McCrory said he could have supported a compromise “if it didn’t change the definition of gender. Had Charlotte repealed its ordinance we wouldn’t have had that issue because in the Charlotte ordinance they specifically mentioned gender identity and gender expression.”