North Carolina Fails to Rescind Controversial 'Bathroom Law'
North Carolina's legislators were unable to repeal the controversial "bathroom bill," known as HB2, that was pushed into law last March. The bill, among other directives, mandates that transgender people use bathrooms that match the sex on their birth certificates and eliminates legal protections for them and gay people. Outgoing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory called state legislators back to the Capitol Wednesday for a special one-day session to repeal the controversial law.
"We came here to solve a problem that apparently nobody had any clear idea as to how it was going to be solved," said Sen. Daniel T. Blue Jr., the chamber's Democratic leader, told the New York Times. "It's one thing if, during the regular session, we waste time and do this kind of stuff."
Following the original passage of the legislation, the governors of New York, Vermont and Washington, and the mayors of New York City; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco, and Seattle banned all nonessential travel to North Carolina. Many organizations relocated events from the state, including the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, which will now be played in New Orleans. Had the law been rescinded, the NBA indicated it might have returned to Charlotte for the game in 2019.
The NCAA also pulled out of the state in the wake of HB2, moving seven interstate championships to other venues for 2017. When news that the legislators did not do what was expected on Wednesday, Bob Williams, NCAA senior vice president of communications, said, "the NCAA's decision to withhold championships from North Carolina remains unchanged."
AP has reported that the law has cost North Carolina hundreds of jobs and contributed to McCroy's re-election loss in November. Governor-elect Roy Cooper, a Democrat who is leaving his post as state attorney general for his new job, had declined to defend the state against a lawsuit that was been filed by the American Civil Liberties Union contesting the law's constitutionality.
"HB2 was an unprecedented attack on the LGBT community, in particular against transgender people, and we are encouraged that its days are numbered," said Sarah Gillooly, policy director for the ACLU of North Carolina, in a statement. "It is imperative that the General Assembly hold up their end of the deal and repeal HB2 in full without delay. This will be an important step for North Carolinians to move forward."