By Bryan Mims and Cullen Browder

Goldsboro, N.C. — One day before the anniversary of the passage of House Bill 2, Gov. Roy Cooper is softening his call for a so-called “clean repeal” of the controversial state law on LGBT rights and transgender bathroom access.

Cooper tried to negotiate a repeal in December, even persuading the Charlotte City Council to rescind a nondiscrimination ordinance that prompted state lawmakers to adopt House Bill 2 in a one-day emergency session last March 23. But when Republican legislative leaders attached to a repeal bill a “cooling off” period that would prohibit the adoption of any local nondiscrimination ordinance for at least six months, Senate Democrats balked, and the effort was defeated.

Since then, Cooper has repeatedly called for a straight-up repeal of House Bill 2, although he did allow last month for local governments wishing to enact a nondiscrimination ordinance to provide 30 days’ notice to state lawmakers.

But with the continued threat of lost jobs and the NCAA blackballing North Carolina from hosting championship events for the next six years, the governor said Wednesday he feels compelled to compromise.

“I would support a House Bill 2 repeal with a moratorium with a definite end date,” Cooper told WRAL News during a stop in Wayne County.

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