The HB2 Compromise

On February 9th, Mayor Bell outlined a compromise strategy to ease concerns of the General Assembly and to encourage the repeal of HB2: work with mayors from other NC cities to pledge that municipalities would not pass local anti-discrimination ordinances if HB2 was repealed.

Bell, Cole-McFadden, and Davis voted in favor of the compromise to pledge a six month moratorium on local anti-discrimination ordinances in return for repeal of HB2. Reece, Johnson, and Moffitt voted against moving forward. Schewel was not present for the vote but indicated that he opposes the compromise because "we need to be able to pass a local non-discrimination ordinance as soon as HB2 is repealed."

Moving forward on his own, Mayor Bell wrote a letter to the leadership of the General Assembly. At the February 20th council meeting, he read the letter aloud: "There really is no downside for the General Assembly repealing HB2 and establishing a moratorium for 6 months or until the Supreme Court's decision comes down"… HB2 "impacts the brand of our community."

Key Moments

  • Bell: “What I’m trying to do is to relieve some pressure now by getting it off the books, allowing some time to see what happens in the next stage ─ which is the Supreme Court ─ and also freeing up the state from these economic pressures that we’re under because HB 2 is on the books.”
  • Reece: “I can’t support a measure that would remove the paper version of House Bill 2 while leaving it still effectively the law of the land and that’s what this measure asks us to do is to leave the force of House Bill 2 in effect on this community while removing it on paper to allow the economic benefits to flow, assuming national organizations will accept that ─ if they will accept this fiction that we’re trying to create that we’ve removed House Bill 2.”
  • Johnson: “It feels to me like we are failing to protect our residents to get an economic advantage.”

Read more & support your local news:
Wrong protest of HB2 (Herald Sun)
Durham City Council debates how to address HB2 locally (News & Observer)
Durham City Council rejects Mayor Bell's HB2 compromise (Indy Week)