March 30, 2017; Common Dreams
Common Dreams reports that nonprofit advocacy groups supporting LGBT rights are calling HB142, which has been promoted as a repeal of North Carolina’s notorious HB2 (the bathroom bill), a “sham” aimed only ending ongoing boycotts of the state without protecting the LGBT community from discrimination. (As NPQ mentioned yesterday, one factor in the situation is that the NCAA made it clear that a failure to change the controversial law would result in a ban on the state as a location to host sports championships through 2022.)
Governor Roy Cooper had been expected to sign the bill, passed yesterday by the North Carolina General Assembly, but as objections have grown louder and more widespread, a “Plan B” may need to be put into play.
According to those speaking out against the measure, HB142 not only provides LGBT people with no state-level protections, but it imposes a moratorium on local governments enacting municipal non-discrimination ordinances through at least 2020.
“This is not a repeal of HB 2. Instead, they’re reinforcing the worst aspects of the law,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project. “North Carolina lawmakers should be ashamed of this backroom deal that continues to play politics with the lives of LGBT North Carolinians.”
Sarah Gillooly, policy director of the ACLU of North Carolina, agrees, calling the measure a “disgraceful backroom deal.”
The governor and General Assembly may be turning their backs on LGBT North Carolinians today, but we are not. We will continue to fight in court for transgender people to access the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity and for equal protection for the entire LGBT community in North Carolina.
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One year after HB2 was introduced and signed into law in just 12 hours, it is shameful that legislative leaders and North Carolina’s governor are once again rushing through a discriminatory anti-LGBT measure without proper vetting or an opportunity for public input. The way to undo HB2’s profound damage to North Carolina and its people has always been a full, clean repeal, but this proposal would keep anti-LGBT provisions of the law in place and continue to single out and target transgender people. Lawmakers must vote against this proposal, and should it reach his desk, Governor Cooper should withdraw his support and veto it.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said on Wednesday that “the rumored HB2 ‘deal’ does nothing more than double-down on discrimination and would ensure North Carolina remains the worst state in the nation for LGBTQ people. The consequences of this hateful law will only continue without full repeal of HB2.”
He added, “Sellouts cave under pressure. Leaders fight for what’s right.”
“This is a bait and switch,” declared William Barber II of the N.C. Chapter of the NAACP, which has been pivotal in the national boycott. He says the Moral Monday movement he founded “will continue to fight against retaliatory voter suppression, anti-worker legislation, and any backroom efforts to enshrine discrimination in our laws. Above all, 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. We call on all those who stand for justice to vote no on compromise and pass a clean, full repeal of HB2.”
The NCAA will issue a decision on whether it will lift its boycott by early next week, reportedly. Writing for the Charlotte Observer, Scott Fowler urges the NCAA to issue this two-word response: “Pound sand!”
I can’t see how the NCAA will do anything but tell North Carolina lawmakers that Thursday’s shot just rimmed out. No, worse than that. This compromise that pleases hardly anyone is an airball, and should be labeled as such by a passionate crowd that just saw a terrible misfire in a packed arena.
While state legislators and Gov. Roy Cooper are hailing this as a last-minute collaborative victory, it looks to me a lot more like smearing lipstick on a pig. It does not fulfill Cooper’s promises to the LGBT community. It does not allow local governments to pass anti-discrimination ordinances until at least December 2020, and that was one of HB2’s most basic and controversial sticking points. The new bill leaves all gay people vulnerable to unequal treatment until past the next presidential election.