FNF Photography Staff
NC Flushes Bathroom Bill: But At What Cost?
For thirteen months now it seems as though the whole world has been talking about North Carolina because of the controversial House Bill 2 that restricted the rights of transgender citizens using the bathroom of their choice. This Friday, in response to the NCAA threatening to withhold future NCAA championships in NC until 2022, the Senate and the House voted to finally repeal HB2. However, many groups of people, including LGBT+ rights groups across the state, are not pleased with this compromise.
House Bill 142, dubbed by critics as “HB2.0,” effectively repeals HB2 but also adds many contentious new parts. Some new facets of the bill include leaving control of access to multi-stall bathroom facilities to the legislature, and preventing city governments from updating their non-discrimination policies relating to private employment and public accommodation until 2020. The latter was inserted to prevent something similar to the Charlotte non-discrimination ordinance from occurring again, which is what sparked the events of HB2 in the first place.
Critics have many issues with the bill, including the continued absence for protection of LGBT+ rights in public communities. This bill is dubious at best, as it attempts to solve this problem by digging itself deeper into the hole. Although on the surface, the bill attempts appease both sides of the party, its lack of security for the LGBT+ community is untenable. In addition to this glaring omission, cities not only will be prohibited from updating their nondiscrimination policies until 2020, but also measures raising minimum wage and protecting workers.
Recently elected Governor Roy Cooper, whose main platform while running was repealing HB2, has expressed his thoughts on the matter, stating that although HB142 is not a perfect compromise, it is better than nothing. Statewide protections for LGBT+ citizens would never pass in the current gerrymandered Republican-majority House and Senate. However, the LGBT+ community deserves so much more than just “better than nothing.”
It remains to be seen whether the NCAA will be pleased with North Carolina’s repeal of the bill, or demand more. The ACC, headquartered in Greensboro, may have tipped the scale, as it intoned that future ACC championships hosted in NC will be considered.
In the meantime, citizens can express their opinions by contacting to their local Senator or House Representative. And hopefully, we help NC achieve something “better than nothing.”