Compromise to undo 'bathroom law' passes key hurdle

For more than a year, Senate President Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore have blocked an up-or-down vote on clean repeal of HB2, despite the overwhelming outcry from voters, businesses, and others seeking to do business in the state.

The new measure rescinds House Bill 2, the so-called bathroom bill that required transgender people to use the bathrooms, changing rooms and showers in state-run buildings that correspond to the sex on their birth certificate rather than their gender identity.

LGBTQ and civil rights groups criticized the legislation as a "fake" repeal that fails to protect transgender people from discrimination. Like HB2, it also blocks local jurisdictions from passing anti-discrimination measures protecting LGBT people - but only for a few years, not indefinitely.

On Thursday, Springsteen guitarist Steven Van Zandt tweeted that the legislature's move fell short: "It ain't over until the LGBT community and the ACLU say it's over". Under the bill just approved, local governments can't pass new nondiscrimination protections for workplaces, hotels and restaurants until December 2020.

"This bill is at best a punt". The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) also reported the loss of 24 meetings, conventions and sporting events in Wake County as a result of organizers protesting the bill.

Although the deal would repeal key provisions of HB2, critics -including LGBTQ groups - contend it would keep objectionable parts, such as keeping bathroom regulation in the legislature's hands.

The brothers, who live in North Carolina and have been avid defenders of the state's House Bill 2 passed last March, asked their supporters on Thursday - the day state lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a deal to repeal the controversial legislation - to issue one last plea to conservative legislators to save the bill.

North Carolina law provides legal protections for government officials to refuse services to the LGBT community. Cathryn Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, said that the compromise would leave lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with no statewide anti-discrimination ordinance and no ability to seek such protections from local government for a number of years.

The deal also blocks North Carolina cities for almost four years from enacting their own regulations for job and restroom protections to groups classified as vulnerable.

UPDATE: Right after this piece was posted, North Carolina's state Senate voted to pass HB142.

Cooper was elected in November on a platform that called for repeal of HB2, which enacted under the man he defeated, Republican Gov.

Carcano says this proposal doesn't repeal House Bill 2 but only replaces it with a "new form of violence" against LGBT people and is sacrificing "our lives and our safety for the sake of basketball".

Gay rights activists blasted the proposal, saying it was not a true repeal.

This means that North Carolina would continue to be the only state in the nation to have shamefully funneled anti-transgender animus into a law regulating restroom access. Political repercussions exist for legislators and Cooper. "That's not leadership, Governor Cooper".

The agreement was reached shortly before a deadline that would have caused North Carolina to lose the option of hosting NCAA basketball championships, Reuters reports.

The late-night announcement came as the NCAA had said North Carolina sites won't be considered for championship events from 2018 to 2022 "absent any change" in House Bill 2, which it views as discrimination. Decisions would be made starting this week.

HB2 has prompted some businesses to halt expansions and entertainers and sports organizations to cancel or move events, including the NBA All-Star game in Charlotte.