NC legislature adjourns without repealing bathroom law
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The North Carolina legislature adjourned its Wednesday special session without passing legislation that would have repealed a controversial law restricting which bathrooms transgender people can use.

Republican leaders had submitted the legislation to repeal the law known as HB2, but ran into stiff opposition from rank-and-file GOP legislators in support of the bathroom law.

The move is sure to anger Democrats. In Charlotte, the Democratic-controlled city council voted to repeal an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance — which says people can use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity — as part of a compromise worked out with Republicans to ensure that the statewide law was removed.

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The day was marked by a stream of recesses and haggling among lawmakers, according to multiple reports.

Republicans offered a bill that would also impose a six-month freeze on any LGBT anti-discrimination or transgender bathroom legislation at the local level, to the ire of Democrats.

A last-ditch effort Wednesday evening to split the two provisions ultimately fell flat — lawmakers voted against the straight repeal and didn't take up the moratorium provision.

HB2, passed into law in March, made North Carolina the first state in the country to ban transgender people from using restrooms that matched their gender identity. The law drew fierce condemnation from activists around the country and prompted a number of high-profile boycotts of the state.

Outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory (R) called a special session this week to “reconsider existing legislation.”

"The whole issue of gender identity is a national issue that will be resolved by the courts and the United States Justice Department," he said in a video he posted announcing his decision. "Like all of us, I look forward to that resolution and to working with our state legislators in the coming days."

He added that the "sudden reversal with little notice after the gubernatorial election sadly proves this entire issue originated by the political was all about politics," referring to the Charlotte city council's new willingness to negotiate. 

McCrory faced backlash this year after signing the bill into law. 

Incoming Gov. Roy Cooper (D) repeatedly hammered McCrory over HB2 on the campaign trail, before unseating him in a close race.

The controversial law led major musicians to cancel concerts in the state — including Bruce Springsteen, Peal Jam and Maroon 5 — as well as major sporting events to pull events. The NBA moved its All-Star Game in 2017 from Charlotte as a result.

And it resulted in blowback from tens of thousands of businesses.

The National Association of Manufacturers, Consumer Technology Association and more than a dozen other trade organizations representing some 45,000 businesses urged McCrory to repeal the law.

A study published in May said the law could cost the state $5 billion a year. The study predicted it would cause the state to lose nearly $4.8 billion in federal grants and contracts, including $4.7 billion in funding for public schools, colleges and universities. That was in addition to the $40 million in business investment already withdrawn from the state and the risk of losing $20 million from businesses, according to the study.

Cooper has called the law "one of the most discriminatory laws in the country."

"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 in a statement earlier this week.