Politics & Government

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts calls for ‘full repeal’ of HB2

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts Tuesday called for the General Assembly repeal all of HB2.
Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts Tuesday called for the General Assembly repeal all of HB2. ogaines@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts called Tuesday for the General Assembly to repeal all of House Bill 2, the controversial legislation that mandates people use the bathroom of their sex on their birth certificate in government-owned buildings.

In a statement from her spokesperson, Roberts said HB2 is “costing jobs and businesses every day for Charlotte and North Carolina families. We need to get back to growing jobs and our economy, demonstrating that all are welcome in North Carolina and that discrimination is not acceptable.”

Roberts was one of the biggest supporters of Charlotte’s expanded nondiscrimination ordinance, which was invalidated when HB2 passed in March.

After the bill passed, Roberts defended her and the City Council’s decision to extend protections for the LGBT community, including an allowance for transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their gender identity. She was a harsh critic of the General Assembly’s passage of the bill and Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision to sign it.

When McCrory issued an executive order April 12 in an attempt to quell the furor over HB2, critics blasted his action as insufficient.

Roberts, however, took a more conciliatory approach. She said the governor’s extension of LGBT protections to state employees was “historic” and said she looked forward to more dialogue.

The city had been mostly silent on HB2, until Roberts’ calls for a repeal Tuesday.

McCrory’s campaign on Monday released an email blaming Roberts for the controversy over HB2.

Steve Harrison: 704-358-5160, @Sharrison_Obs

North Carolina repealed HB2 in 2017 but left intact some of its provisions. But with Charlotte’s reputation tainted, the city is still paying to market itself to visitors.