North Carolina lawmakers have failed to vote to repeal the state’s bathroom law on Wednesday evening after the governor-elect announced on Monday that a special session would be called to repeal it.
The House voted on Wednesday evening 58 to 45 to adjourn the session without having reached an agreement to repeal the law, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The state law, House Bill 2, mandated people to use restrooms in accordance with their birth genders, which the outgoing governor Pat McCrory said was implemented for protection of women and children. Governor-elect Roy Cooper had expressed his opposition to the law throughout the campaign, blaming it for loss of jobs from the state and boycotts from several music bands and businesses.
The bathroom law was passed after a non-discrimination ordinance was passed in Charlotte, compelling businesses to allow people use bathrooms based on their gender identities. HB2 was signed into law in March, thereby nullifying the Charlotte ordinance.
The Charlotte City Council met together on December 19th and repealed the city ordinance with expectations that HB2 would be repealed as well.
“There was an agreement among everybody. That’s why we called a special session,” Cooper was quoted as saying by CNN. “They said they had the votes as long as we had the Democrats. We got the Charlotte City Council to take this step, something they didn’t particularly want to take … What happened is they broke the deal.”
Meanwhile, some lawmakers said that Charlotte City Council did not hold its end of the deal to repeal the entire ordinance. Instead, they only repealed the part regarding access to restrooms, according to a WBTV report.
The HB2 bill had been expected to be repealed by December 31st. Council members have said that if that does not happen, the ordinance will not be taken back.
Now that lawmakers have failed to reach an agreement on repealing HB2, the law will remain in the state. North Carolina’s legislators will meet again in January 11 for the General Assembly, but it is uncertain whether talks of repealing will resume then.