Gov. Roy Cooper and the business people who helped put together the compromise that repealed the infamous HB2 are catching heat for it, probably more than they deserve. But the points of critics should be well-taken, and over the next months Cooper and others should work to fine-tune the compromise toward the goal of eliminating the restrictions on local governments when it comes to passing anti-discrimination ordinances. That’s a rather gratuitous bow to Republicans who didn’t really want to repeal HB2 but faced economic realities.
One of those realities has already been reversed with the decision from the Atlantic Coast Conference to restore the state’s eligibility to host ACC championships. The loss of those championships would have taken a considerable financial toll, particularly on cities.
That’s fine, but it’s far too early to send up the skyrockets for the repeal. Will, for example, other states lift their travel bans on official business in North Carolina, or support the state’s universities hosting academic conferences? Will businesses that have decided not to expand in North Carolina reverse course?
This is all to say that the damage from HB2 has been extensive, and it will take a while to repair it and restore the state’s reputation. That’s the reality of this Republican-led misadventure.