After days of closed-door meetings to discuss much ballyhooed changes to the anti-LGBT law HB2, the North Carolina General Assembly voted Friday only to restore workers’ right to use state law to sue over employment discrimination. But the change won’t enhance workplace protections on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, nor does it affect other provisions decried by gay rights advocates, business leaders and other high-profile critics. It will also keep in place the ban that excludes gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide antidiscrimination protections.
“This was the lowest of the low hanging fruit. It does nothing to fix the core discrimination in that law,” said Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake.
The revised bill will once again head to the desk of Gov. Pat “One Term” McCrory, who pushed for the change to the law that was enacted after a special session earlier this year.
Also on Friday, the legislature also approved giving Gov. Pat McCrory’s office $500,000 to defend the law in court, transferring the money from a disaster relief fund. The move drew jibes from many civil rights advocates.
The NBA has suggested it might pull the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte if a compromise did not meet its “guiding principles of inclusion, mutual respect and equal protections for all.”
In a joint statement with the Charlotte Hornets, the NBA said it does not endorse the new draft amendments released and encouraged lawmakers to keep working on a compromise. The statement closed with the thinly veiled threat that “there has been no new decision” on next year’s game.