As we all know by now the Republican controlled North Carolina General Assembly on Thursday approved a “compromise” bill that repeals House Bill 2 “trans bathroom section” but still restricts anti-discrimination ordinances in cities and counties.
Gov. Roy Cooper who replaced former anti-LGBT Governor Pat McCrory signed the measure into law. The Democratic governor negotiated the compromise with the Republican leaders of the legislature, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger.
“It was a very measured approach,” Moore told reporters. “I think this bill, as written, is also something that is very defensible in court. I think it’s something the public supports. No one is 100 percent happy, but I would say I’m 95 percent happy.”
Opposition and support did not fall along party lines in either the House or the Senate, as advocacy groups on the left and right criticized the measure. Some of the most liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans voted against it. The Senate voted 32-16 in support. In the House, the bill passed 70-48.
The NCAA reportedly had set a deadline of Thursday for North Carolina to change the year-old state law or be excluded from consideration for hosting postseason games through 2022.
Whether the half repeal and attached provisions will be sufficient to put the state back in contention to host NCAA sports championships remains to be seen. Moore told reporters after the session that business leaders who have been intermediaries in recent negotiations have told him this version of the bill would satisfy NCAA concerns.
Reaction to the signing of the bill in most cases were swift and brutal to the “sham” repeal.
“The NAACP condemns the perplexing attempt to address the discriminatory HB2 law through a proposal that on the surface repeals HB2, while subtly embedding a greater layer of discrimination and confusion into the state’s anti-discriminatory laws.
While implying to the public that they are seeking to repeal HB2, this so-called compromise bans one form of discrimination in the short term but by also banning local authorities from protecting their citizens from discrimination until 2020, opens a dirty window for more discrimination. The purported repeal is a sad bait and switch where additional discriminatory practices are being piled on top the current ones embedded within the HB2 legislation. This cloaked compromise only gives the NAACP more to consider as we deliberate on whether to boycott the state. The North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP is leading our efforts on the ground.
“Why mince words? This is a fake repeal,” said Ian Palmquist, Program Director of Equality Federation, “As a proud North Carolinian, I’m deeply disappointed that HB 2’s shameful ban on local protections will continue. While we disagree with Governor Cooper on this compromised repeal bill, we do agree on this: local ordinances aren’t enough. North Carolinians must update our state’s nondiscrimination laws to fully protect the LGBTQ community, and we’ll keep working until that happens.”
“HB2 was hastily passed without any input from the LGBTQ community just one year ago,” said Chris Sgro, Equality NC Executive Director. “Today, we returned to the legislature with a deal made between Governor Cooper, Phil Berger and Tim Moore that once again left out the ones most impacted by the discriminatory law – LGBTQ North Carolinians. Lawmakers and Governor Cooper have failed to resolve the problems with HB2 by doubling down on discrimination. Once again, the North Carolina General Assembly has enshrined discrimination into North Carolina law.”
“Lawmakers replaced a bad bill with another bad bill. This fake repeal is an attempt to silence LGBT people,” said Simone Bell, southern regional director at Lambda Legal. “It is shameful to stamp a start date on equality. We demand a full, clean repeal, and that includes comprehensive non-discrimination protections. Do not leave our community unprotected in the name of ‘compromise.’ We urge the governor to veto this bill and we encourage the NCAA to stay on the right side on history.”
“This is not a repeal of HB 2. Instead, they’re reinforcing the worst aspects of the law,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project. “North Carolina lawmakers should be ashamed of this backroom deal that continues to play politics with the lives of LGBT North Carolinians.”
The ACLU, ACLU of North Carolina, and Lambda Legal will continue to defend right of transgender people to use restrooms and changing facilities consistent with their gender identity, as federal law requires. The lawsuit, which includes claims for the damages inflicted by H.B. 2, will continue, and the legal team will seek to amend the lawsuit to challenge H.B. 142 as well.
Transgender Law Center:
“While the legislature and Governor rescinded the birth certificate requirement under HB2 today, in order to obtain this concession they bargained away the civil rights of transgender people by removing the ability of cities and school districts to protect them in the future. And while transgender people may use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity as a result of this concession, they have no legal recourse if anyone should bar them from the bathroom.
“At best, this is a step forward and a step back. The transgender people of North Carolina deserve better.”
Continue the BOYCOTT!
Any moratorium on civil rights is not a compromise, it is a contradiction with the principle of equal protection under the law and our moral values.”