North Carolina’s House Bill 2 lives.
After a day of debate in public and behind closed doors during a special session of the General Assembly, the state’s Senate voted down the motion to repeal the controversial so-called ‘bathroom bill.’
This vote took place after the House adjourned without making a decision.
The crowd inside the senate chamber chanted ‘Shame!’ as the legislative body adjourned.
A plan by North Carolina Republicans to repeal the state’s sweeping anti-LGBTI measure ran afoul with Democrats who charged that they had reneged on a promise for a full appeal of HB2.
HB2 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. It has badly damaged the state’s reputation and hurt its economy.
The Republicans on Wednesday (22 December) filed Senate Bill 4 (SB4) which does repeal HB2 and its most controversial restriction of mandating which bathrooms transgender people may use.
But SB4 also created a six-month ‘cooling-off period’ during which no municipality in North Carolina would be allowed to pass any laws related to employment or public accommodations.
Specifically noted are ‘access to restrooms, showers, or changing facilities.’
Lamba Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union were among the LGBTI groups outraged with what took place with the General Assembly accusing Republicans and outgoing Governor Pat McCrory of playing ‘a game of political chicken.’
‘As long as HB2 is on the books, thousands of LGBT people who call North Carolina home, especially transgender people, are being discriminated against and will never feel safe,’ said Simone Bell, Southern Regional Director at Lambda Legal.
‘This was a counterproductive exercise in reaffirming to the rest of the country that North Carolina wants to remain mired in this divisive dispute.’