Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday morning he will soon announce an executive order addressing protections for the LGBT community.
The Democratic governor made the remark to a sympathetic audience in Washington, D.C., where he said he would also continue to fight against discrimination and push for voting rights and education funding.
Cooper spoke at a conference of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank and advocacy group that supports Democratic politicians. The daylong event is packed with prominent Democrats. Still to speak later are Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, former ambassador Susan Rice and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer.
In a question-and-answer segment with the organization’s executive vice president for policy, Carmel Martin, Cooper explained his decision to accept a compromise repeal of HB2 even though it left him at odds with some activists and members of his own party.
“My goal is statewide LGBT protections in North Carolina, and I’m going to keep fighting every day until I get to that point,” he said, to applause. “… It would have been politically and probably emotionally easier for me to keep pounding the table and not accept a compromise but I knew it wasn’t right.”
Cooper did not elaborate on the executive order on LGBT protections. Gov. Pat McCrory issued such an order in April 2016, which expanded nondiscrimination protections for all state employees to include sexual orientation and gender identity. It left the controversial bathroom provisions of HB2 intact.
Cooper also predicted that within 10 days the N.C. General Assembly will pass a bill to circumvent Monday’s announcement that the U.S. Supreme Court would let stand a lower court ruling that struck down North Carolina’s voter ID requirement and other provisions in a 2013 law. GOP leaders have said they will continue to pursue such a law.
“North Carolina is an epicenter in the country for the fight for the right to vote,” Cooper said at the Four Seasons Hotel. “This General Assembly doesn’t stop. This was a temporary win yesterday.”