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Cooper Offers ‘Common Sense’ Compromise on HB2 Repeal, GOP Leaders Disagree

On Tuesday morning, Gov. Roy Cooper held a press conference to announce a “common sense compromise” for a repeal of HB2, otherwise known as the state’s bathroom bill. Meanwhile Lt. Gov. Dan Forest responded in a statement that if his proposal were to become law, it would “create a state-sanctioned ‘Look But Don’t Touch’ policy in our bathrooms.” 

See statements from Cooper, Forest and other state leaders below: 


Governor Cooper Offers Common Sense Compromise for HB 2 Repeal

In a press conference today, Governor Roy Cooper was joined by Democratic Legislative leaders Representative Darren Jackson and Senator Dan Blue to offer a common sense compromise proposal to repeal House Bill 2.

Governor Cooper’s compromise would wipe House Bill 2 off the books while taking major steps to address all stated Republican concerns. The proposal includes:

  • A full repeal of House Bill 2
  • Tougher penalties for crimes committed in restrooms and dressing rooms
  • A requirement that local governments give the legislature 30 days’ notice before voting on non-discrimination ordinances

“I know North Carolinians are tired of hearing about this. HB 2 has divided us and stained our reputation. I’ve proposed a common sense compromise that will get HB2 off the books and address concerns on both sides. It’s time for Republican leaders to step up and lead their members because February needs to be the month we get this done,” said Governor Cooper.

“House Bill 2 is currently the biggest obstacle facing our economy and it must be repealed. Despite their supermajority, legislative Republicans have refused to offer a viable solution that will bring jobs and sporting events back to North Carolina. This proposal requires some compromise by Democrats – but it addresses every single one of legislative Republicans’ reported concerns surrounding HB2 and we’re willing to come together to get the job done,” said Senate Democratic Leader Dan Blue.

“HB 2 has already cost our economy thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars. We now have a very short window to take action before the NCAA removes tournament games for six years. We must act. With this compromise, every single Republican justification for House Bill 2 will be addressed. It’s time for Republican leaders to have the backbone to put our economy first and repeal this disastrous law,” said House Democratic Leader Darren Jackson.

A deal to repeal House Bill 2 failed in December when Republican leaders broke their pledge to offer a clean vote for repeal after the Charlotte City Council rescinded its non-discrimination ordinance.

NC Republican Responses to Gov Cooper’s HB2 Proposal


Lt. Gov. Forest Response to Governor Cooper’s HB2 Repeal Proposal

“If Governor Cooper’s proposed bill for repealing HB2 becomes law, it will create a state-sanctioned ‘Look But Don’t Touch’ policy in our bathrooms. Heterosexual men will be able to access women’s showers and bathrooms by simply posing as a transgender individual. They will be able to watch women and children shower, or shower next to them. As long as the man doesn’t touch them, assault them or film them, no legal protection would be afforded the offended woman or child. Nothing. As a husband and father of four, the concept of ‘Look But Don’t Touch’ as a meaningful response to HB2 is a sad commentary on how far the progressive movement and the elected officials beholden to it, will risk the safety of our people to achieve a radical social policy agenda.” 

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger Response to Cooper’s Latest Press Conference on HB2


The office of Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) responded Tuesday to Gov. Roy Cooper’s latest press conference on HB2.

The following is a statement from Amy Auth, a spokeswoman for Sen. Berger:

“Gov. Cooper’s press conference is the first we’ve heard of his so-called compromise, so if he has a list of members willing to support his proposal, he should make it public now. Given that Gov. Cooper’s refusal to enforce existing criminal trespass laws as attorney general was a major reason legislators were forced to pass HB2 in the first place, it is difficult to take seriously his pledge on ‘strengthening penalties.’ This proposal does nothing to address the basic privacy concerns of women and young girls who do not feel comfortable using the bathroom, undressing and showering in the presence of men, and as we saw in Charlotte last year, it does not require an assault to make a woman feel violated. Gov. Cooper continues to dodge the question, but North Carolinians deserve to know his position on the key HB2 issue: does he believe men should be able to go into women’s bathrooms and shower facilities?”