RALEIGH, N.C. — In a compromise worked out by Republicans and Democrats, North Carolina lawmakers voted Thursday to repeal and replace a hotly contested law that required transgendered persons to use bathrooms that coincide with the gender listed on their birth certificate.
Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger called the new deal to repeal HB2 a “significant compromise.”
The original law, formally known as House Bill 2, was the subject of boycott by many in the entertainment and sports industries and led singer Bruce Springsteen to refuse to play the state.
The revised bill, which the state Senate passed by a 70-48 vote earlier in the day, now goes to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper for approval.
A press release from Senate leader Phil Berger, (R-Rockingham), and House Speaker Tim Moore, (R-Cleveland), said the compromise does the following:
– Repeals HB2
– Returns to status quo before Charlotte’s bathroom ordinance
Implements a moratorium through Dec. 1, 2020 on local ordinances similar to Charlotte’s to allow federal litigation to play out.
Despite the bill’s revisions, LGBT groups who are protesting the new bill says it essentially maintains the same key features of HB2 by leaving regulation of bathroom access solely in control of the state legislature and that the new version would still allow trans-gendered people to be discriminated against.
“This law does not repeal HB2, it doubles down on discrimination,” Cathryn Oakley, HRC Senior Legislative Counsel, said at a press conference in Raleigh on Thursday before the vote took place.
“If you vote for this bill you are not a friend of the LGBTQ community,” Chris Sgro, Equality NC Executive Director, said during the same press conference.
“This repeal is nothing but a replacement of the same discrimination of the original HB2,” Chase Strangio, a lawyer from the ACLU, told ABC News in a statement (http://abc11.com/politics/north-carolinas-hb2-compromise-bill-passes-/1825584/). “The new bill, HB2.0, still bars trans people from receiving any protection from discrimination in schools and government buildings when it comes to using restrooms and other facilities.”
The bill further stipulates that local governments can’t pass their own anti-discrimination laws until December 2020.
Former North Carolina governor, and Charlotte mayor, Pat McCrory took to social media to weigh in on the bill to repeal HB2 on Thursday as well.
In a Facebook statement, McCrory encouraged lawmakers and Cooper to “finally stick with an agreement that is a common-sense reset that respects privacy and allows the Supreme Court to resolve this issue for our nation once and for all.”
“How our country legally defines gender ultimately will not be decided by any mayor, governor, state legislature, or university chancellor on the board of the NCAA,” McCrory wrote.
“Sadly, this all started when the City of Charlotte passed a mandate that threatened private sector businesses with a fine or a 30-day jail sentence for not complying with a new gender requirement for access to their public restrooms and locker rooms,” McCrory continued. “As a result, I signed a state bill protecting privacy and forbidding such local government overreach to be enacted. As promised, I later signed legislation to revise parts of the state bill to reinstate the right to sue for discrimination in state courts and signed an Executive Order to forbid discrimination in hiring and firing of state employees.”
McCrory says special interest groups have targeted North Carolina since the bill was signed, spending millions of dollars “smearing our state and encouraging misguided boycotts.”
Governor Cooper, who has publicly supported the revised bill, is expected to sign it by the end of the week.