Politics

Burr: N.C. Should Roll Back Bathroom Provision in HB2

GOP senator blames state legislature and city of Charlotte for controversy

North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr said rolling back the bathroom provision in North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2 is in the best interest of the state. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr said Tuesday that the General Assembly should "roll back" the bathroom provision in North Carolina's controversial House Bill 2.  

He also pointed a finger at Charlotte, the state's largest city, for passing an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance that has since been invalidated by HB2.  

"It's now time for the city of Charlotte officials to recognize they made a mistake, for the General Assembly to take the opportunity that if we can roll this back, that it's probably in the best interests of North Carolina," Burr told ABC 11 in Raleigh.  

"There didn't seem to be a problem before. Charlotte created the problem and the General Assembly further created a problem," he said.   

[ North Carolina, Explained ]  

Burr objects to the bathroom provision which requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificates. He also objects to the provision that prohibits people from suing for discrimination.   

Last month, Burr told The Huffington Post  that the law was "far too expansive."  

"The legislature botched what they were trying to do,” he said.   

[ U.S. Tells Public Schools to Give Transgender Students Bathroom Access ]  

He'd previously told The Charlotte Observer that the state should be wary of losing federal funding.   

“There’s over $1 billion in education dollars there, so I hope the General Assembly will strongly consider what their next step is to understand the financial implications,” Burr said.

Burr has evolved on the issue since the law first passed in March.
That month, he told ABC 11, "I think this bill does not discriminate," while adding that concerns over the bill's constitutionality should be left to the courts. He also told the Associated Press he knew little about the law because he was out of the country when it passed. 
 

In early May, he disagreed with North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's call for congressional intervention, saying the matter should remain in the courts .   

[ What N.C.'s Pat McCrory Is Ignoring While He Focuses on Bathrooms ]  

A Public Policy Polling poll from late May found 35 percent of North Carolina voters support the bill and 44 percent are opposed to it.  

Burr is running for a third Senate term this fall. His Democratic opponent, former state Rep. Deborah Ross , has been attacking him for not denouncing the law. 

Contact Pathé at  simonepathe@rollcall.com  and follow her on Twitter at  @sfpathe .

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