Politics & Government

NC House Democrat’s petition calls for repeal of LGBT discrimination law

State Rep. Darren Jackson, a Knightdale Democrat, works at his desk during a special session in February.
State Rep. Darren Jackson, a Knightdale Democrat, works at his desk during a special session in February. clowenst@newsobserver.com

State Rep. Darren Jackson, a Democrat from Knightdale, launched a petition drive Monday morning calling for the repeal of House Bill 2.

The new law, approved in a special session last week, revoked a Charlotte nondiscrimination ordinance that allows transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify. It also went beyond the bathroom rule, replacing local ordinances with a statewide nondiscrimination law that doesn’t include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories.

“Now is the time to stand up and say no to the politics of discrimination,” Jackson tweeted Monday. “We passed anti-bullying legislation in 2009. Don't be a bully NC.”

Jackson posted the petition on his website and said he’s already drafting legislation to repeal the law. He plans to file it when the General Assembly returns for its short session on April 25.

“In order to help Gov. (Pat) McCrory and legislative leaders understand how strongly North Carolinians feel about this issue, I am launching this petition drive in coordination with drafting a repeal bill,” Jackson said on the petition. “Public support is critical to bringing forth the political pressure to repeal this terrible legislation.”

Jackson seemed to anticipate questions about whether his petition is designed to boost his re-election bid. “With no opponent this fall, I have no need to score political points,” he tweeted.

Attorney General Roy Cooper, who’s running against McCrory for governor, has also launched a petition calling for repeal at shameonmccrory.com. People who sign Cooper’s petition are automatically subscribed to his campaign email list.

The conservative N.C. Values Coalition, a leading supporter of the new, issued a statement defending it Monday. “Gov. Pat McCrory and the General Assembly exercised their authority under the N.C. Constitution to reign in a rogue municipality that had exceeded its authority by imposing a nonsensical bathroom policy that puts businesses, women and children in situations of grave danger,” the statement said.