Under the Dome

House Democrats try to force HB2 repeal to a vote

A Democratic state representative on Monday night gave notice that he will try to gather enough signatures to force a vote on his bill that would repeal House Bill 2, the controversial law restricting protections for gay and transgender people.

Rep. Darren Jackson of Raleigh said he would file what is known as a discharge petition, which if it attracts at least 61 members of the House would force HB2 out of the judiciary committee and to a vote of the full House. There are 43 Democrats, and so the repeal effort would have to attract Republican support.

There has not been any public indication that large numbers of Republicans are reconsidering HB2, which they passed in a special session earlier this year, prompting widespread controversy, including a federal lawsuit and losses of jobs due to corporate opposition to what they consider a discriminatory law.

On the House floor, Jackson noted an analysis of his bill by legislative staff made a key determination:

“This bill would likely circumvent the risk of a potential loss of federal funds due to currently pending legal action by the federal government alleging violations of compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.”

Those statutes allow the federal government to withhold funds from states that don’t comply.