Strong armed by the NCAA, North Carolina repeals HB2

by WorldTribune Staff, March 30, 2017

A “compromise” deal to repeal House Bill 2 was reached on March 29, North Carolina Republican lawmakers said.

The deal was reached just hours before the NCAA was set to deny North Carolina the ability to host any NCAA championships for the next five years.

NC House Speaker Tim Moore, left, and Senate Leader Phil Berger hold a news conference in Raleigh where they announced a compromise with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on the repeal of House Bill 2. / News & Observer via AP

NC Senate leader Phil Berger and House of Representatives Speaker Tim Moore said the compromise, reached with Gov. Roy Cooper, does the following:

  • Repeals HB2;
  • Protects privacy in bathrooms and shower facilities by leaving regulation of multi-occupancy facilities to the state, returning to the status quo prior to passage of Charlotte’s bathroom ordinance;
  • Implements a temporary moratorium on local ordinances similar to Charlotte’s until December 1, 2020 to allow federal litigation to play out.

“Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy,” said Berger and Moore.

Criticism of the compromise emerged from all sides.

“If HB2 was right to begin with, which I believe it was, then why are we repealing it? If it is wrong, then why wait four years to fix it? Such ambiguity undercuts the legitimacy of a law that we have fought so hard to defend,” Lt. Gov. Dan Forest said.

“We are yielding the moral high ground and giving in to a new form of corporate extortion from an unaccountable, out of state, non-elected, tax-exempt organization (NCAA) and for what?… a ballgame? Why are we allowing them to dictate to us, laws that govern the protection of our people? We should have the backbone to tell them to take a hike,” Forest said.

Several LGBT activists decried the deal’s provisions, including the bar on municipalities regulating employment practices and “public accommodations”.

“This is a dirty deal,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. He vowed to continue fighting North Carolina in court and in the public sphere if the new measure passes and is signed by Cooper.