North Carolina GOP lawmakers and Democratic governor announced a proposed compromise Wednesday night to repeal the state’s controversial House Bill 2, also called the “bathroom bill,” which bans people from using restrooms different from the gender on their birth certificate, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Their compromise would resolve a political standoff and possibly avoid significant economic losses from business, entertainment and sports organizations that have threatened to boycott the state over the bathroom ban.
LGBT activists condemned the proposed repeal legislation. Under the compromise, House Bill 2 would be repealed but state lawmakers would have the sole authority to regulate issues surrounding public restrooms. Also, local governments could not pass their own anti-discrimination laws, covering things like sexual orientation and gender identity until December 2020.
In announcing his support of the compromise, Gov. Roy Cooper said, “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation.”
Many North Carolina conservatives are uncompromising in their opposition to a repeal of House Bill 2. But House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger believe the deal retains key elements.
“Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy,” Berger and Moore said in a statement, according to U.S. News.
The proposed repeal is scheduled for debate on Thursday in the legislature, but it’s unclear whether it will pass, the news outlet said.
This rush to reach an accord by Thursday comes as a deadline looms from the NCAA.
The Washington Post reported that the college sports’ governing body will exclude North Carolina from hosting lucrative NCAA events through the spring of 2022 if lawmakers fail to repeal or significantly modify the bathroom bill.
According to The Post, a new estimate from the Associated Press said North Carolina could lose at least $3.7 billion over the next 12 years from events, meetings and business expansions that could be cancelled over House Bill 2.
What has often been overlooked is that House Bill 2 goes beyond matching restroom use with birth certificate gender. It also includes local ordinances on protecting LGBT rights, as well as limiting some minimum-wage standards.
In February, the NAACP called for an economic boycott of North Carolina over House Bill 2 and announced the first steps of its strategy.
NewsOne spoke with The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, who said the boycott is about more than the attack on LGBT rights. He said the state legislature is also engaged in racially gerrymandered districts and voter suppression, among other things.
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