On the Beat

Air Horn Orchestra is back, over HB2

Air Horn Orchestra is coming back, and it is once again over House Bill 2.

Their “performance” will be at 6 p.m. Thursday outside the governor’s mansion, a reprise of the weekly “shows” the activist group started last year after Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB2 into law in March 2016. HB2 forbids local anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and also requires people in government facilities to use bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates.

In HB2’s wake, North Carolina has lost corporate expansions, concerts, sporting events and conventions to a boycott. The Associated Press recently estimated that HB2 might cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a 12-year period, and the NC General Assembly faces a deadline this week to repeal HB2 or lose NCAA championship events through 2022.

Following a long period of bargaining, HB2 appeared to be moving toward a repeal compromise in the North Carolina Senate and House on Thursday. But progressive groups including Equality NC and the NAACP have come out against the compromise, saying its moratorium on future local anti-discrimination ordinances isn’t a full repeal.

So Air Horn Orchestra will serenade McCrory’s Democratic successor, Gov. Roy Cooper.

“Unfortunately, it seems Gov. Cooper needs a loud reminder of what he was elected to do,” said AHO co-founder Tina Haver Currin in a statement. “Fully repeal HB2, instead of supporting a watered-down ‘compromise’ which leaves much of HB2 in place.”

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi

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