North Carolina lawmakers agree to repeal HB2 right before NCAA deadline

North Carolina's Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders have reached what they call a compromise on the anti-LGBT HB2 and they want lawmakers to vote Thursday to approve it.

The law forces transgender people to use a bathroom matching their gender at birth and strips cities of the right to pass anti-discrimination ordinances protecting LGBTI people.

The new deal to repeal the law was struck late Wednesday by Republican lawmakers and the state's Democratic governor.

Gov. Roy Cooper commented on the repeal Wednesday evening, saying it could help "repair" the state's reputation.

"It's not a flawless deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to fix our reputation", said Cooper, who earlier this week noted the current law could end up costing the state almost $4 billion.

Cooper, a staunch opponent of the bathroom law who took office in January, said the compromise was a step in the right direction. Full Senate and House votes were expected later in the day.

USA lawmakers announced an agreement to repeal a controversial North Carolina state law that curbs legal protections for the LGBT people and sets rules that affect transgender access to public bathrooms, the media reported. The state was pressured to act because it was poised to lose hosting rights to NCAA championship games through 2022. But the deal reported by USA media still has to pass a series of hurdles in the state legislature today.

WSOC reported a possible vote would be held as early as Wednesday night.

But as news of the deal spread, groups on both sides of the issue voiced concerns about the compromise.

"On the bathroom issue, it will never be good public policy to allow men into women's and little (girls') bathrooms and showers", Forest wrote to legislators.

North Carolina law provides legal protections for government officials to refuse services to the LGBT community. Lawmakers reportedly announced they had come to an agreement to finally get rid of the controversial anti-trans bill, formally known as House Bill 2, during a news conference, according to The New York Times.

The compromise passed the Senate Rules Committee Thursday morning on a divided voice vote.

That rule was widely condemned as discriminatory, and resulted in North Carolina suffering a string of business boycotts and by performers including Bruce Springsteen. Companies like PayPal and Deutsche Bank have abandoned expansions in the state, the National Basketball Association and the NCAA already have moved games elsewhere, and entertainers have canceled concerts and other shows. Advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people said the new version would allow discrimination to continue.

"This repeal of HB2 will not solve anything", the coalition said in a statement. "The NCAA has already delayed the bid review process once and has waited as long as it possibly can, and now it must finalize all championship site selections through spring of 2022", said Dupree.

  • Larry Hoffman