Winston-Salem City Council votes to take closer look at resolution on HB2

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- City council members voted six to two Monday to take a closer look at a resolution that would ask state leaders to undo House Bill 2.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law a bill to override an ordinance that would have let transgender individuals use the bathroom of their choosing. The bill also prevents local governments from expanding anti-discrimination laws.

Dozens of people showed up to the city council meeting speaking out against HB2.

“This House Bill 2 bill must be dismantled with urgency," said one person at the meeting.

“What has gone down in Raleigh is an injustice," said Char Van Schenck, a student at Wake Forest University.

One of the biggest voices heard speaking out against the bill was City Councilman Dan Besse.

“Many legislators do not fully understand what they voted on when they voted on it,” Besse said.

Besse, who represents the city’s southwest ward, presented a resolution which asks the state to perform a public investigation of the kinds of consequences the bill may have.

Besse says HB2 strips away power from local governments in trying to prevent discrimination.

“The legislature did not completely examine all the problems when they acted last week,” he said.

Many are also protesting by backing out of the High Point Furniture Market.

"It's unprecedented the number of cancellations and the uproar among our customer base,” said Doug Bassett, chairman of The High Point Market Authority. ”I've not seen anything like it."

Since the bill was passed, dozens of people have backed out of participating in the spring market.

The furniture market is the largest economic event in the state each year, generating more than $5 billion a year, according to a 2013 Duke University study.

"Our market's being negatively impacted,” Bassett said. “It's going to cost customers and potentially cost us jobs."

Besse’s resolution will be reviewed by a committee on April 12 and will be discussed by the city council at its next meeting April 18.