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Mayors denounce N.C. compromise legislation over HB2

Republican leaders Rep. Tim Moore, Speaker of the N.C. House, left, and Sen. Phil Berger, President pro tem of the N.C. Senate announce last Tuesday they thought they had reached a compromise with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on a replacement for HB2.
Republican leaders Rep. Tim Moore, Speaker of the N.C. House, left, and Sen. Phil Berger, President pro tem of the N.C. Senate announce last Tuesday they thought they had reached a compromise with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on a replacement for HB2. cseward@newsobserver.com

The mayors of Los Angeles, Santa Fe and Salt Lake City reaffirmed their cities’ bans on taxpayer-funded travel to North Carolina, after last week’s compromise legislation that repealed North Carolina House Bill 2 but restricts anti-discrimination ordinances in N.C. cities and counties.

A city council member in Cincinnati said he wants his city to keep its boycott, too.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he will do “everything in my power to make sure that Angelenos’ tax dollars are never spent to support bigotry based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“Every American deserves to live free of discrimination, and the law signed last week by Governor Cooper does nothing to protect the rights and dignity of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters,” Garcetti said in a statement released late Monday by the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign.

“Cities should have every opportunity to make policies that affirm values of equal justice, protect people from hate and bias, and uphold the Constitutional right to self-determination,” Garcetti said. “Until that is made real in North Carolina, I urge the City Council to extend L.A.’s ban on non-essential travel to the state by City employees.”

In Santa Fe, “we stood up to ensure that every individual, regardless of their gender identity, will feel safe here,” Mayor Javier González said. “North Carolina shouldn’t stand in the way of their cities who want to do the same, and until they make it right, we have no intention of changing the ban on non-essential travel that is our current policy.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski tweeted that the compromise legislation “harms #LGBT folks in NC & limits good cities like #Charlotte.

Cincinnati council member Chris Seelbach tweeted that North Carolina’s repeal of HB2 “is not a repeal – Just renaming of same bad law. Cincinnati will continue to boycott / stand w/ @HRC #RepealHB2.

The N.C. General Assembly on Thursday approved a compromise bill that Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law.

Cooper negotiated the compromise with the Republican leaders of the legislature, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger.

“It was a very measured approach,” Moore told reporters. “I think this bill, as written, is also something that is very defensible in court. I think it’s something the public supports. No one is 100 percent happy, but I would say I’m 95 percent happy.”

Opposition and support did not fall along party lines in either the House or the Senate, as advocacy groups on the left and right criticized the measure. Some of the most liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans voted against it.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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