UPDATE AS OF 1:35 PM: The North Carolina state legislature voted 70-48 to pass the HB2 replacement. The measure will now head to the desk of Governor Roy Cooper, who supports it.
— Colin Campbell (@RaleighReporter) March 30, 2017
North Carolina state legislators announced late yesterday they reached an agreement with Democratic Governor Roy Cooper to repeal HB2, the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, which overturned local gay and transgender protections in the state. But LGBT rights groups condemned the deal, saying it fails to protect an already vulnerable community by “enshrining” certain parts of the law for the foreseeable future.
Speaking at a late night press conference, Phil Berger, the Senate leader, and Tim Moore, the House speaker, said legislators would at 9:15 AM today begin deliberations over House Bill 142, a measure which would
- repeal HB2
- leave regulation of “multi-occupancy facilities” in the hands of state lawmakers
- prohibit local governments from passing their own ordinances regarding employment practices and bathroom regulations through 2020
Should a repeal pass the state’s Senate Rules Committee, it would need to survive two additional votes in the Senate before a final vote in the House.
“Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy,” Berger and Moore said in a joint statement.
In a brief statement of his own, Governor Cooper threw his support behind the repeal process. “I support the House Bill 2 repeal compromise that will be introduced tomorrow. It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation,” he said.
LGBT rights groups slammed the compromise, urging state lawmakers not to support the deal. The deal, they said, would leave the state’s LGBT community no statewide anti-discrimination ordinance and no ability to seek legal recourse.
The proposal, argues Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality North Carolina, “keeps North Carolina as the only state in the country obsessed with where trans people use the restroom through law.”
Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, expressed her disappointment in a Facebook post.
The Human Rights Campaign issued a sharp rebuke.
Any NC lawmaker who supports this bad #HB2 "deal" is no ally of LGBTQ people & will have planted themselves on the wrong side of history.
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) March 30, 2017
What the compromise means for “the LGBT community is that we continue to be boxed out of nondiscrimination protections,” said Cathryn Oakley, HRC’s senior legislative counsel.
The repeal process, if completed by noon today, could also mean the state would escape punishment from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), warned the state that it could lose the opportunity to host championship sporting events through 2022. The organization had previously relocated other events, including men’s basketball tournament games that were to have been played in Greensboro this month. Local news outlets reported this week the NCAA had set a Thursday deadline for the state to address the bill.
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