North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper today said he will issue an executive order “pretty soon” to increase protections for LGBT people in his state.
“I’m going to issue an executive order pretty soon that is comprehensive, that helps with LGBT protections and we’re going to keep working every day,” Cooper said during the Center for American Progress’ Ideas Conference.
Cooper also said that he wanted a clean repeal of HB2 without a compromise like the one eventually reached in March, but that he didn’t think it was possible under the state’s Republican-controlled legislature.
“I had a choice. Do I continue to make a statement and pound the table and nothing happen? Or do I take a positive step, make progress and continue to fight?” he explained. “I chose the latter for my state because we got rid of the birth certificate requirement. We opened up the ability of local governments to provide some protections now and some in the future.”
Since HB2 became law, North Carolina has lost at least $3.76 billion. Several companies have returned to business as usual in the state since the compromise was reached, a decision that’s led to complaints from advocacy groups. But Cooper says the returning business is a sign that these companies recognize his commitment to obtaining a full-repeal.
“I knew we had to make a step and that’s why I did it. It was the right thing to do. Diversity is our strength,” he said.
“North Carolina is a welcoming state ― we’ve just gotta make sure that our laws catch up with our people.”