Opinion: How to get HB2 repealed in 24 hours


What if it there was an easy way to end HB2? A single action, a finger snap? A flap of butterfly wings that creates a tsunami?

There is — one action that would lead to a complete and immediate repeal of House Bill 2.

Let’s face it: New thinking is needed. Irresistible force (righteous indignation) has met immovable object (moral certitude). You can decide which side is which — it doesn’t change the physics. Meanwhile, the laws of political physics say the impasse can be broken only by the imposition of an outside force.

The force is this: The companies and organizations that have been punishing North Carolina start to reward Charlotte for having done the right thing in the first place.

It has never made sense for Charlotte to be included in statewide boycotts. Charlotte passed a progressive anti-discrimination law, yet has been punished for HB2 along with the rest of the state.

The animus for “Great State of Mecklenburg” is so great, it seems, that non-area legislators gladly ignore the statewide impact of HB2 as long as Charlotte’s economic engine suffers more.

So let’s reverse it.

It’s political physics: The impasse needs only a gentle tap at the right pressure point, and that pressure point is Charlotte. It could happen today. The NCAA announced last Thursday that NC will host no championships until HB2 is repealed. Imagine it amended its statement to add this: except for Charlotte.

The ACC could do it: Charlotte gets its football championship back, and the basketball tournament … but the rest of the state remains off-limits until HB2 is repealed.

Or that mass of CEOs who signed an open letter opposing HB2 — imagine they wrote a new letter saying they will now favor Charlotte, and Charlotte alone, for expansions and relocations.

This plan doesn’t punish the rest of the state at Charlotte’s expense. The cities and towns of N.C. would lose nothing more. They’re losing already — the General Assembly has seen to that. But if this works it fixes things for everyone.

And here, ultimately, is why it would work: If the cities and towns aren’t screaming about HB2 now, wait until Charlotte is given preference over them.

Watch the fur fly in the General Assembly.

That’s it: One act, one day, one vote to repeal HB2. All we need is someone — the NCAA, the ACC, the CEOs — to take that one simple action they should have taken in the first place: To reward the city that said everyone is welcome here.

Photo: John D. Simmons/Charlotte Observer


  1. Ok…now tell us how we convince the NCAA, or the ACC, or corporations, to only hold events and/or locate operations in Charlotte while also freezing out the rest of the state.
    That’s a pretty important detail, no?
    I mean, I could say one way to repeal HB2 is to have the legislature repeal it. Done! Finished! Next question!
    Or: One way to repeal HB2 is to have space aliens take over the bodies of NC legislators and change their votes in the dead of night. Finito! You’re welcome!
    Come on, guys. Seriously….

  2. Dear [CEO who signed the repeal letter],

    Please withhold all dues to the Charlotte Chamber until its CEO Bob Morgan lobbies for a “full repeal” especially when taking business-owner members to visit the NCGA. Mr. Morgan supported HB2 last year and is supporting the so-called “partial repeal” this year. Those actions are disingenuous at best.

    YOUR Charlotte Chamber has clout in Raleigh. Please hold your organization’s leadership accountable.


    [Your name here]

  3. If HB2 is so wrong and a violation of civil rights then the US Dept of Justice Civil Rights Division would have been all over the situation like a duck on a june bug .

    You cannot reward criminals for mal intent.
    It is illegal to wear disguises in public period, gay or not.
    The real issue is identification for purposes of law enforcement and homeland security .

    So Paul Reall rethink your position are you in favor of aiding and abetting criminals just so some sex addicted men can dress like women .

    So I you feel so strongly about your position maybe you should dress like a woman and walk into a bank and see how fast you get arrested by the FBI ..

    Repeal may never happen so KWITCHABELIAKIN

    If You are a smart man you can decipher that big word and move on to more important matters like the rights of the disabled or disabled veterans. or mental health issues of persons(sociopathic) insisting on wearing disguises in public .

    • You got to be kidding. Dressing up “as a woman” and going into a bank has about as much to do with being transgender as robbing that bank and saying it was a withdrawal. Check Federal Real ID law. You will see specific exclusion for State ID’s and drivers licenses of trans people. Know why? Because being transgender is REAL. Same for passports, social security and the FAA. Denial of this reality is either stupid or ignorant.

  4. The GOP doesn’t care. They achieved their goal. Republicans have been attempting to lower minimum wages and erode civil equalities for LGBT folks for years, but were never able to successfully pass legislation due to public acceptance of higher minimum wages and LGBT rights. After Houston’s GOP successful gameplay to defeat H.E.R.O., Republicans realize you can pass any anti-worker or anti-LGBT bills by wrapping it in bathroom hysteria.

    As much as the GOP claim these bills are about safety and privacy, it is really about catering to radical right donor interests.

    If you think HB2 was about bathrooms, then you are as dumb as Republicans think you are. It was never about bathrooms; it was about an anti-LGBTQ and anti-worker agenda.

    The NCGOP can take solace that to obtain a useless, toothless bathroom law that in no way protects anyone, anywhere, and is as successful at preventing bathroom incursions as the little stick figure signs on the bathroom door, they will no longer host any championship games.

    That, in order for the NCGOP to show the “trannies” true social standing as second-class citizens and it’s OK to spit on them, the cost was only a long-standing tradition of sports culture.

    Congratulations conservodouches! You may have lost the “fag-marriage” war, but your consolation prize is shoving an already marginalized and endangered group into the mud. Feel good? Great!

    I hope you never host another college championship game, NBA all-star game or a NFL super bowl; you don’t deserve it.


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