LGBT Community Says HB2 'Repeal' Isn't Really A Repeal At All

North Carolina is trying to sell new legislation as a repeal of the so-called "bathroom bill."

North Carolina's Senate Rules Committee approved a repeal of the controversial "bathroom bill" on Thursday morning, but LGBT advocates say it's not a repeal at all.

Roy Cooper, the newly elected North Carolina governor, came to an agreement with lawmakers Wednesday night to push forward on a bill that would leave the controversial state regulations of bathrooms in place until 2020. This means that cities and local government would not be able to pass their own rules for another three years.

"l support the House Bill 2 repeal compromise that will be introduced tomorrow," Gov. Cooper said publicly. "It's not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation."

But LGBT advocacy groups are saying they were not consulted on the bill and that it doesn't allow any local government entities to pass their own anti-discrimination laws. 

"This is no repeal. This is HB2.0 and is perhaps more insidious in its targeting of LGBTQ — and particularly of trans and gender non-conforming — people," Chase Strangio, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, wrote on Thursday. "It is a backroom deal that shows no input from the community, that shows no leadership from lawmakers, that shows a callous disregard for the basic humanity of the trans and gender non-conforming people that call North Carolina home."

Essentially, the bill simultaneously repeals HB2 while also introducing new legislation that prohibits cities and local governments from passing anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people in 2020. It also continues to prevent transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice for the foreseeable future. 

So far, it appears LGBT advocates are not falling for the bait and switch. 



Already, HB2 has done more than just harm North Carolina's LGBT community. It has cost the state $3.75 billion in revenue after hundreds of companies and sports teams boycotted North Carolina. It was a big part of former Gov. Pat McCrory losing his election in 2016. And, most recently, the NCAA announced it'd refuse to hold any championship college basketball games there until the law was fixed.

While the bill passed a voice vote this morning, CNN reports that it still has to survive two additional votes on the Senate floor before moving onto North Carolina's House legislature. 

For now, it appears LGBT advocates are still poised to push for true equality. 

Cover image: J. Bicking / Shutterstock



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