North Carolina has voted to repeal part of its anti-trans bathroom law – but LGBT leaders are furious
North Carolina has voted to repeal the HB2 bathroom law – but has also banned local authorities from outlawing LGBT discrimination.
LGBT activists have condemned the legislation, which stops local authorities from passing anti-LGBT-discrimination laws until December 2020.
HB2, which came into force a year ago, forced people to use the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth.
It was one of the most controversial state laws in recent times and led to many boycotts from companies, music stars and sports organisations.
An Associated Press investigation showed the state was set to lose more than $3.76 billion over the next 12 years because of the law.
Hours before the state was would have lost the possibility of hosting prestigious national college basketball matches, Republican lawmakers and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper announced a deal last night.
Today, the North Carolina Senate voted 32-16 to pass the bill, and the House voted it through by 70 to 48.
Governor Roy Cooper has already signed the bill.
Officially called House Bill 142, the act will also prohibit local authorities from regulating multi-occupancy toilets, showers or changing facilities, leaving it up to the state.
The fact that local authorities are barred from making anti-LGBT discrimination illegal until 2020 prompted an outpouring of anger from many prominent LGBT activists, with Equality NC executive director Chris Sgro calling it a “fake repeal”.
Governor Cooper, who ran for election on a platform of repealing HB2, said: “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals HB2 and begins to repair our reputation.”
In a joint statement, Majority Republican leaders Tim Moore and Phil Berger said: “Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy.”
But LGBT leaders were incandescent.
Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said the repeal bill was a “disaster” which only “doubles down on discrimination” of LGBT people in the state.
“All lawmakers, D and R, must reject #HB2 ‘deal,’ he wrote on Twitter. “Stand strong with the LGBTQ community. We will be watching who leads & who sells us out.”
Many celebrities and activists shared their outrage online.
— Jane Seymour Fonda (@Janefonda) March 30, 2017
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) March 30, 2017
HB142 literally does not do one thing to protect the LGBT community & locks in HB2’s most basic, offensive provision https://t.co/AQhJ5xWbbr
— ACLU National (@ACLU) March 30, 2017
— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) March 30, 2017
Fake repeal of HB2 passes state senate and moves onto the House. Stop this! https://t.co/TrmvzAQmxy
— Chase Strangio (@chasestrangio) March 30, 2017
— ACLU-North Carolina (@ACLU_NC) March 30, 2017