Next steps for Charlotte, NBA amid HB2 fallout

Next steps for Charlotte, NBA amid HB2 fallout

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A deal to modify North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2 fell apart Thursday afternoon, just one day before the North Carolina General Assembly voted to adjourn for the short session.

The NBA was also part of talks to bring about change by working with Charlotte leaders and state lawmakers.  League Commissioner Adam Silver has said the organization is exploring options to relocate the All Star Game, scheduled to be played in Charlotte next February.

Thursday, the NBA and Hornets organizations released a joint statement on the pitfalls of compromise saying, in part: "…we do not endorse the version of the bill that we understand is currently before the legislature. We remain committed to our guiding principles of inclusion, mutual respect and equal protections for all."

RELATED: NBA: We do not endorse amended HB2 legislation

By Friday, the compromise was dead.

HB2, which was passed during a special session in March, requires individuals to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender listed on their birth certificate, not gender identity.

State lawmakers did restore the right for individuals to sue over workplace discrimination, which was also a change Governor Pat McCrory supported earlier through an executive order.

RELATED: House leaders update proposed HB2 legislation following WBTV report

State Senator Jeff Jackson, who is running for re-election and has been an outspoken critic of HB2, says Republicans had an opportunity to act and failed, putting Charlotte and the rest of the State at risk of losing jobs and revenue.

"The chance that the All Star Game will depart from Charlotte has gone up significantly," said Jackson. "In order to fix that, we would have to go back into session and take some meaningful action, which we didn't do," he said.

A special session is possible, but unlikely in the current political climate, considering a compromise attempt already failed. Either the Governor or a required three-fifths of lawmakers can request a special session.

GOP Representative Charles Jeter says he knows of no discussion to request an HB2 special session. If any changes are made, he expects those would not take place until lawmakers return to Raleigh in January of next year.

WBTV also attempted to reach Mayor Jennifer Roberts and Republican leaders about possible next steps.

As for the NBA, no change regarding the All Star Game status has been announced.

Commissioner Silver has said the decision would have to be made by the end of summer to give the League and potential other host city time to plan.

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