The NC House and Senate approved legislation to repeal the law called “House Bill 2” on Thursday. The compromise was reached between Governor Roy Cooper and Republican legislative leaders ahead a NCAA deadline to repeal HB2 or lose collegiate championship events. House 148 repeals HB2 and gives the state (not local governments) full regulatory powers over access to multiple stall restrooms and shower facilities. Cities cannot pass anti-discrimination ordinances similar to the former Charlotte ordinance until 2020. Here’s how Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger explained the bill.
NC Democrats had resisted any HB2 repeal deal that featured conditions but compromised ahead of the NCAA deadline, where the sports organization is currently booking championship events and had omitted North Carolina from consideration.
House Bill 142 passed the House and Senate on bi-partisan votes that saw the more liberal and conservative lawmakers join in opposition, but for different reasons. Liberals want the clean repeal. Conservatives want the HB2 law to remain on the books. Sen. Dan Bishop cited the NCAA for political bullying over the HB2 issue in his speech to the full Senate.
The passage of House Bill 142 earned positive remarks from business groups. Socially conservative groups continue their opposition to repealing HB2. The NC Values Coalition offered this response:
“These chambers were filled today with men and women who have been under a full-court press by the NCAA and the business community for months, and today, the leaders of our State have let the people of North Carolina down. The truth remains, no basketball game, corporation, or entertainment event is worth even one little girl losing her privacy and dignity to a boy in the locker room, or being harmed or frightened in a bathroom. Today each member cast a vote based on what they believed was in the best interest of their constituents and North Carolina.
HB2 was a compassionate, reasonable law that guaranteed that wouldn’t happen, and provided sensitive solutions for transgender individuals as well so that everyone’s privacy was protected……. – Tami Fitzgerald, NC Values Coalition Executive Director
North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland County) told reporters on Thursday that the HB2 repeal should put the issue to rest.
But, the Speaker conceded that the House GOP Caucus was heavily divided over repealing House Bil 2.