Republican financier Art Pope, who is poised to co-head a group to find a bipartisan compromise on House Bill 2, said state leaders should take “a collective deep breath” on the issue.
“The LGBT community has legitimate issues. Those who have concerns about the privacy in the bathroom of women and children or men have legitimate issues as well,” Pope said in an interview last week on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
John Hood, president of Pope’s family foundation, and Pope are organizing the group working to find a solution, the Observer reported this week. Former Democratic Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker would head the effort with Pope, and former Republican Gov. Jim Martin would be the honorary chairman.
Hood and Pope say the idea grew out of discussions over how to find a way out of a situation that has resulted in economic losses, celebrity boycotts and dueling lawsuits between the state and the U.S. Justice Department.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
“…The Charlotte ordinance is unfortunate. Before the city of Charlotte passed its ordinance, we didn’t have any laws describing how a bathroom’s to be used,” Pope told NPR.
“I think we should just take a collective deep breath, count to 10, go back and have a reasonable discussion and debate on what the solution is,” Pope told NPR. “And the solution could be going back to the status quo where you don’t have government in the bathroom one way or the other anyway.”
Charlotte City Council voted in February to expand its nondiscrimination ordinance to cover LGBT people. The ordinance also would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.
HB2, which the General Assembly passed in March, pre-empted the Charlotte ordinance and requires people in government facilities to use bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates.