The North Carolina General Assembly on Thursday approved a measure decried by advocacy groups as a “sham” compromise designed to end the economic boycott of the state while still sanctioning anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
“After the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 32-16, the House voted 70-48 to send it on to Gov. Roy Cooper,” reported the News & Observer, which listed every lawmaker who voted for HB142, falsely branded as a repeal of the widely unpopular and transphobic bathroom bill HB2.
Late Wednesday, Cooper indicated that he supports the bill and is expected to sign it despite “enormous outcry.”
“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, which along with the organization’s national chapter and Lambda Legal have been fighting HB2 in federal court, said: “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.”
In an effort to “repair” the reputation of North Carolina and win back some of the millions lost as a result of the state’s transphobic bathroom law, lawmakers on Thursday are rushing to pass an alleged compromise deal that rights advocates are warning will only further sanction discrimination.
The backroom deal, struck late Wednesday night between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican leaders, Senate chief Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, according to the Charlotte Observer, is being pitched as a repeal of the controversial House Bill 2, or HB2.
In actuality, HB142 offers no state-level protection for LGBTQ people and includes a moratorium that prevents local governments from passing non-discrimination ordinances through at least 2020.
The state Senate and House are both expected to take up the measure early Thursday, reportedly hoping to meet a deadline set by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) “to make changes to the controversial law or lose the ability to host sports championships through 2022,” the Observer notes.
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