Thursday, March 30, 2017

HB2 Deal Draws Criticism From Rights Leaders

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 12:45 PM

click to enlarge Hunter Schafer (left) and Miquel Rodrigues of Raleigh protest the North Carolina General Assembly during a special session on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. - JAMES WILLAMOR
  • James Willamor
  • Hunter Schafer (left) and Miquel Rodrigues of Raleigh protest the North Carolina General Assembly during a special session on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016.


Reacting to a deadline from the NCAA demanding that the North Carolina General Assembly repeal HB2 if the state wanted to host any championship games through 2022, leaders of both parties have gotten behind a compromise deal being pitched by Republican leaders of the NCGA and Gov. Roy Cooper. The new bill has already been passed through the state Senate and will go to the House floor this afternoon.

Politicians of both parties were already in celebration mode this morning, with North Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin releasing a statement saying, "this dark chapter in North Carolina history appears to be finally coming to a close."

But as the American Civil Liberties Union said this morning in a tweet calling for a full repeal of HB2 without compromise, “This is more than economic issue. It's a civil rights issue. We must stand 4 [sic] LGBT people, especially #trans N. Carolinians. #RepealHB2 #NCGA.”

One of Gov. Roy Cooper’s campaign promises was to fully repeal HB2. Last night, in a backroom deal between the NCGA and Gov. Roy Cooper, a “compromise” was reached. “It’s not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation,” Cooper said last night.

The new bill, HB142, stops local governments from passing non-discrimination ordinances like the one that Charlotte passed last year. It stops state agencies, offices, schools, and any political subdivisions of the state from regulating single-sex multiple occupancy facilities like bathrooms and changing rooms, “except in accordance with an act of the General Assembly.” The bill places a moratorium on these actions until Dec. 1, 2020.

“Setting a moratorium on local government's ability to pass anti-discrimination ordinances and to regulate private employment practices is another sweeping act of hubris by the legislature and takes power from officials elected by the people to serve the rights of the people,” said the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, NC NAACP President in a statement released by the organization.

“This is no compromise. This is no repeal. This is HB2.0 and is perhaps more insidious in its targeting of LGBTQ,” said Chase Strangio, ACLU staff attorney, in an article earlier this morning. “Our bodies do not make others unsafe. We do not infringe on the privacy rights of others by existing in the world.”

Just after 11:30 a.m., the senate passed the bill 32-16. HB142 is now headed to the House and is expected to be voted on this afternoon.

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