Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s Governor, promised to issue an executive order for full LGBTQ rights in the state on Tuesday during a conference. He said “My goal is statewide LGBT protections in North Carolina, and I’m going to keep fighting every day until I get to that goal.” Currently, the state has a bar on local governments passing anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. The state had a partial repeal of this HB2 prior to Cooper’s announcement.
Although details of the executive order cannot be shared at this time, Cooper said he is “going to issue an executive order pretty soon that is comprehensive, that helps with LGBT protections and we’re going to keep working every day.”
Cooper’s statements occurred at a progressive Think Tank conference when asked about the anti-LGBTQ legislation he inherited with the position.
The non-discriminatory legislation was partially repealed but criticsized by LGBTQ rights groups. It was a compromise, as North Carolina currently operates under the Hastert Rule. This stipulates that the governor must have majorly their own party in order to have something considered on the floor. The state is Republican controlled and Cooper wanted to find a way to make progress. He believed that nothing would happen in the next two years without an altered agenda. He was able to eradicate the birth certificate requirement, a step for transgender rights. “We opened up the ability of local governments to provide some protections now and some in the future,” Cooper stated. The partial repeal also keeps municipalities from passing non-discrimination acts that affect private employment or public accommodations (such as bathroom and locker room usage). The past legislation also nullified all city ordinances regarding the topic.
The state was due to face a loss of $3.67 billion in business over a dozen years if the former legislation had not been partially repealed. Cooper still hopes for a full repeal in the future.
Cooper stated that “It was the right thing to do. Diversity is our strength. North Carolina is a welcoming state. We’ve just gotta make sure that our laws catch up with our people.”