North Carolina lawmakers have promised that the incoming Democrat governor Roy Cooper is to repeal the controversial House Bill 2 (HB2) law, which requires transgender people to use toilets that correspond to the sex declared on their birth certificate – in a special session on 20 December.
The promise comes as part of a trade-off with Charlotte City Council, which repealed a non-discrimination bill protecting LGBT civil rights on Monday (19 December). Among other things, the city council bill enforced transgender people's right to use restrooms matching their gender identity. State legislators reacted to the law with the enactment of HB2, the so-called "bathroom bill" in March 2016.
The council noted that the repeal of their bill was contingent on state lawmakers fully repealing HB2 by 31 December.
"Senate leader Phil Berger and House speaker Tim Moore assured me that as a result of Charlotte's vote, a special session will be called for Tuesday to repeal HB2 in full," said governor-elect Cooper, in a statement following the Charlotte City Council vote. "I hope they will keep their word to me," he added.
The legislation was strongly opposed by LGBT activists and ally for its discriminatory nature. Entertainers such as Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr, as well as sports team and businesses boycotted events held in North Carolina as a protest against the bill.
"Full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong LGBT protections in our state," Cooper said.
North Carolina was in the news recently for another controversy, as the Republican-controlled legislature called a special session to strip the incoming governor of some of his powers before he formally takes office next month.
Cooper, the state attorney general, defeated incumbent Republican Pat McCrory in a contentious election in November.
McCrory has been a vocal supporter of President-elect Donald Trump and rallied for him during the election campaign. A source close to the Trump transition told the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina, that the Trump team is "definitely going to look after him".