North Carolina May Repeal Anti-LGBTQ “Bathroom Bill”

North Carolina lawmakers may repeal a controversial law that limits legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people (LGBTQ).

House Bill 2—or H.B. 2—has been dubbed “the bathroom bill” and will be the topic of a special session to be held on Wednesday. On Monday, Governor-elect Roy Cooper said in a statement that Republican leaders “assured” Cooper that Wednesday’s session would “repeal H.B. 2 in full.”

Cooper asserts that H.B. 2 is shameful and has cost the state thousands of jobs, including those lost with the boycotts of major companies like General Electric and Pepsi.

“I hope they will keep their word to me and, with the help of Democrats in the legislature, H.B. 2 will be repealed in full,” Mr. Cooper’s statement said. “Full repeal will help to bring jobs, sports and entertainment events back and will provide the opportunity for strong L.G.B.T. protections in our state.”

State Representative Tim Moore—the House speake—and State Senator Phil Berger—the Senate president—stated that Gov.-elect cooper was “not telling the truth about the legislature committing itself into session. We’ve always said that was Governor McCrory’s decision, and if he calls us back, we will be prepared to act.”

Cooper’s announcement followed a unanimous (10-0) vote from the Charlotte City Council that overturned a law that allowed transgender people to use a restroom compatible with their gender identity.

McCrory—who believed that passage of the law would result in “immediate state legislative intervention”—and other Republicans were quick to sign the measure that rescinded the local ordinance.

The action received national criticism and major companies responded by refusing to bring new jobs to North Carolina. Among them were Bruce Springsteen—who canceled future concerts in the state—as well as the NBA moving the 2017 All-Star Game to New Orleans and the NCAA pulling championship sporting events out of the state.

The state was also sued by the Justice Department and North Carolina residents represented by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Group, a gay rights group.

Current state law requires people to use restrooms in agreement with the gender listed on their birth certificates when in publicly owned buildings. It also overrides local legislation that protects LGBTQ people, such as the one in Charlotte.

Republicans Berger and Moore have criticized Cooper’s actions as a “political stunt to drive out-of-state money into the governor’s race.”

“For months,” they said, “we’ve said if Charlotte would repeal its bathroom ordinance that created the problem, we would take up the repeal of H.B. 2.”

Chad Griffin, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, a national group dedicated to LGBTQ rights, stated on Monday that a full repeal of the bill would terminate “the most vile and hateful and discriminatory anti-L.G.B.T. bill in the history of the country today.”

He hopes that the overturning of H.B. 2 would create possibilities for “fully inclusive” legislation on both state and national levels.

About Jessica Paek

Freelance writer and proud pet mom to two dogs and a cat. Self-proclaimed Pinterest curator and D.I.Y. queen. My research interests include power hierarchies and historical linguistics.

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