The Republican-controlled legislature of North Carolina failed to repeal House Bill 2, surprising observers and ensuring that the political furor over the controversial law will continue. Charlotte lawmakers had previously repealed the LGBT+ inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance they’d approved in February, which purportedly prompted HB2’s passage. The state law has incited economic boycotts, lawsuits, and political animosity, and is widely seen as contributing to the recent defeat of outgoing Republican Governor Pat McCrory.
North Carolina has faced extensive repercussions and negative media attention since the so-called “Bathroom Bill” passed last year. In March, the National Collegiate Athletic Association stripped North Carolina of its right to host seven championship events this academic year. The Atlantic Coast Conference pulled its football championship from Charlotte, and major companies, including PayPal, have abandoned or paused plans to expand in the state. Cultural figures like Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr canceled concerts, and the United States Department of Justice brought a civil rights lawsuit, which is still pending.
Even most state legislators believed they’d use the special one day session to find a way to put the controversies in the past.