Mecklenburg Co. Democrat pulls support from new bill aiming to r - | WBTV Charlotte

Mecklenburg Co. Democrat pulls support from new bill aiming to repeal HB2

Rep, Rodney Moore (District 99) Rep, Rodney Moore (District 99)

A Mecklenburg County lawmaker has dropped his support for new legislation, filed earlier this week, that seeks to repeal the state's controversial House Bill 2.

House Bill 186 was introduced with bipartisan support Wednesday in the North Carolina House of Representatives. It was filed by two Republicans and two Democrats. Thursday, 15 additional lawmakers signed on as sponsors of the bill; three additional Democrats and twelve Republicans.

The bill seeks to fully repeal HB2 and update the state's non-discrimination laws to match federal protections. 

State colleges and universities, along with some other organizations, would have the option to expand their non-discrimination policies beyond those spelled out in the bill. 

Friday afternoon, Representative Rodney W. Moore from Mecklenburg County's District 99 dropped his support of the new legislation. Moore was one of the five Democrats sponsoring the bill and the only local Democrat listed,

PREVIOUS ARTICLE: More lawmakers join push for proposed legislation that would repeal HB2

"Given the Speaker's inflexibility on the issue of referendums on HB 186, I can no longer support the bill," Moore tweeted Friday afternoon.

As of 9 p.m. Friday night, Moore was still listed as one of the 19 lawmakers who are sponsoring the bill. The House clerk's office told WBTV they had not heard from Moore as of late Friday afternoon.

Republican representative Chuck McGrady, the bill's author, said he and the Republican caucus are open to negotiating all aspects of the legislation.

McGrady sat down with WBTV after introducing the bill, saying Democratic co-sponsors for the bill was "critical."

"This is the first bipartisan bill of this type. We've had bills introduced in the past and its all the Republicans or all the Democrats," he said. "This is the first time we have a bill that Republicans and Democrats - at least some of us - can come together on."

WEB EXTRA: Click here to read House Bill 186

The bill looks to pre-empt access to multi-occupancy bathrooms, showers, and changing facilities. It allows cities to regulate single-occupancy bathrooms. Sponsors hope the bill if passed, would keep people from pointing to a law in North Carolina and say it is discriminatory regarding bathroom usage.

The legislation requires cities who want to pass their own, broader, non-discrimination laws to take extra steps before enacting such ordinances. There will be limitations on those ordinances, according to the proposed bill, including that ordinances cannot apply outside of the territorial jurisdiction, can't use contracting power to impose ordinance provisions, can't apply to bathroom access or religious organizations.

The proposal would allow cities to provide nondiscrimination for its own employees. It also seeks to add increased penalties for crimes committed in a bathroom "regardless of motivation."

PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Bipartisan bill to repeal HB2 filed in General Assembly

About two hours after HB186 was filed, Democratic Governor Roy Cooper issued a statement with concerns about the bill.

"We must repeal House Bill 2 and I remain committed to getting that done. But I am concerned that this legislation as written fails the basic test of restoring our reputation, removing discrimination, and bringing jobs and sports back to North Carolina. I will keep working with the legislature."

HB2 was passed after the Charlotte City Council passed its own non-discrimination ordinance that allowed transgender individuals to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity. The Council repealed its ordinance in December as part of a would-be compromise deal that was expected to see the repeal of HB2 by the Republican-controlled legislature.

EXTENDED COVERAGE: Click here for extended coverage on House Bill 2

Lawmakers failed to repeal the controversial law, though, during a special session called four days before Christmas.

Five local Republican lawmakers are still listed as sponsors on the new legislation: representatives John R. Bradford, III (District 98),  Andy Dulin (District 104), Linda P. Johnson (District 83), John A. Fraley (District 95), and D. Craig Horn (District 68).

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