North Carolina Repeals Discriminatory Bathroom Bill…Sort of

Some are calling it a win; others are referring to it as a “shell piece of legislation.” North Carolina passed a bill on Thursday, which partially repealed the controversial bathroom law, House Bill 2 (HB2).

What the new bill does

  • “It repeals last year’s House Bill 2. That bill had required that people at a government-run facility must use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate, if the rooms in question are multiple-occupancy…
  • It effectively maintains a key feature of HB2 by leaving regulation of bathroom access solely in control of the Legislature…
  • It prevents local governments, until December 2020, from passing or amending their own nondiscrimination ordinances relating to private employment and public accommodation.”


Activists Respond

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed the bill into law stating that it was a step in the right direction while acknowledging its restrictions. He went on to say that it’s “not a perfect deal and it’s not my preferred solution. It stops short of many things we need to do as a state.”

This was one thing civil rights activists seem to agree on.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal released a statement condemning the bill’s passing.

“This is not a repeal of HB2. Instead, they’re reinforcing the worst aspects of the law,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project, said in the statement. “North Carolina lawmakers should be ashamed of this backroom deal that continues to play politics with the lives of LGBT North Carolinians.”

President of the state’s NAACP, Rev. William Barber, said in a statement that “any moratorium on civil rights is not a compromise, it is a contradiction with the principle of equal protection under the law and our moral values.”

Dozens of activist groups went on to comment and ultimately criticize the bill. While politicians seemed optimistic, these groups called for action.

Timothy Moore, the House speaker, stated that the bill puts North Carolina in line with federal guidelines and 30 other states. Moore gave a further argument, saying the state didn’t “need a patchwork of anti-discrimination laws. We’ve got until 2020 to work this out.”