Republicans in North Carolina have drafted another anti-LGBT law, despite the large-scale boycott of the state over its previous law just month ago.
The state lost a string of big investment ventures over Governor Pat McCrory’s decision to sign the contentious HB 2 – which voided all local ordinances protecting LGBT rights, banned transgender people from using their preferred bathroom, and permits businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on the grounds of religious belief.
Under pressure, McCrory agreed to water down some of the provisions, but continued to insist the anti-trans rules are “common sense”.
However, Republican leaders in the state legislature have now submitted a law to bolster many of the most contentious provisions.
The leadership of the North Carolina House of Representatives today proposed a new bill. The draft law strips transgender all people of legal protection until they obtain a “certificate of sex reassignment”.
It also introduces harsher penalties for trans people who use the “wrong” bathroom, bolsters religious freedom protections, and blocks local areas from passing non-discrimination protections.
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said: “This is nothing more than ‘HB 2.0’.
“Anyone who cares about equality must reject this ridiculous proposal out of hand. This despicable bill would continue insidious policies targeting LGBTQ people for discrimination and do nothing to fix the mess HB2 created.
“It’s past time for North Carolina lawmakers to listen to the overwhelming chorus of voices from across North Carolina and around the country calling for full repeal of this hateful law.”
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Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro said: “Legislative leadership must stop digging their own hole ever deeper. North Carolina can’t afford it.
“This leaked draft is the result of another backroom deal that does nothing to fix the problems of HB2.
“We need to repeal HB2 immediately. The legislature cannot cut and run.”
A statement from HRC said: “The new proposal doubling down on HB2 does not address in any way the anti-LGBTQ discrimination perpetuated by the law and would not restore the ability of cities to pass LGBTQ inclusive non-discrimination ordinances.
“Appallingly, this proposal would still offensively and dangerously require the overwhelming majority of transgender people to use restrooms that don’t correspond with their gender identity.
“The discriminatory proposal being offered by lawmakers today does not change the harmful status quo for nearly every transgender person in North Carolina.
“In fact, it would only allow access for a minority of transgender people in two states – Tennessee and Idaho — who may be living in North Carolina.
“According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, only 24 percent of transgender adults have birth certificates that correspond to their gender identities. Many states, including North Carolina, require transgender people to have gender reassignment surgery to update their birth certificates.
“However, only 33 percent of transgender people actually have gender reassignment surgery. This is due to a variety of factors – including but not limited to cost, age, health and medical needs, and access to skilled providers.”