After hours of delay Wednesday, wavering Republican legislators stumbled with pushing through the repeal of a North Carolina law dictating which bathrooms transgender people must use in government buildings and schools, the AP reports. The addition of a six-month moratorium on cities passing nondiscrimination ordinances for LGBT people—like the one in Charlotte that led to House Bill 2—caused Democrats to back away from the bill, calling it only a partial repeal. HB2 has been blasted by gay-rights groups and resulted in job losses and sporting event cancellations. At the same time, House Republicans remained divided over supporting any repeal legislation, putting the ultimate result of the special session called by Gov. Pat McCrory in doubt.
Senate Republicans began debating the repeal measure that blocked local governments from passing ordinances regulating employment practices or public accommodations related to restrooms, showers, or changing facilities for 180 days. But the GOP halted the debate after about 30 minutes and went into a private caucus to talk. Democrats said the measure broke an agreement with Charlotte leaders who repealed its ordinance telling city restaurants and hotels to let transgender people use the bathroom aligned with their gender identity. "This wasn't the deal," said Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Charlotte Democrat. "This bill breaks this deal. Charlotte would have not repealed its ordinance if this was the deal."