North Carolina's "bathroom bill" repeal: who's satisfied?
The new law retains jurisdiction on bathroom-access policy with the state legislature on all publicly owned facilities - explicitly including campuses of the University of North Carolina and state colleges.
Cooper said the new law is "not a ideal deal and it is not my preferred solution" as Republicans hold a supermajority in the Legislature and opposed the wide open transgender access in bathrooms, locker rooms and schools as activists have called for.
"Those committees have been waiting to see whether or not North Carolina was going to change their laws", Emmert said at a Final Four news conference Thursday. A recent study by the Associated Press concluded that HB2 would cost the state of North Carolina at least $3.7 billion by 2028 if it remained in effect. But the new law also makes clear that only state legislators - not local government or school officials - can make rules for public restrooms from now on. The deal also blocks cities from offering their own job and bathroom protections to groups classified as vulnerable for almost four years.
The NCAA set a deadline of last week for action on HB2 or North Carolina likely would miss out on holding championship events through 2022. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the bill late Thursday afternoon. They've changed the law.
Gone was the city ordinance that, for a month, let transgender people use the public restroom of their gender identity.
Many detractors of the initial bill assert that the law has not changed enough for the NCAA to change its stance. "This new bill continues to stand in the way of that", McKinney CEO Brad Brinegar said. Asked if HB142 does enough to bring them back, the band's guitarist Steven Van Zandt tweeted: "There is nothing I would like more", but he called the repeal "phony". They demanded nothing less than full repeal.
Such an insincere response does not fool LGBTQ advocates, and neither will it fool the NCAA, the people of North Carolina, nor the NAACP.
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While supporters of HB2 argue that the bathroom law was needed to preserve privacy and keep people safe from predators, opponents said that the alleged danger was only imaginary. The measure leaves LGBT North Carolinians without equal protection under the law and is patently unconstitutional. NCAA President Mark Emmert said that a decision on whether the new law meets that requirement will come next week.
Sources say that includes an unidentified company eyeing Wake County with more than 1,000 high-paying jobs.
The North Carolina Chamber of Commerce thanked Cooper and Republican legislative leaders "for coming together on a bipartisan basis to find a solution".
"If we could have props in here, I would take a basketball covered in money and roll it down the middle aisle there, because that's what this is about - money and basketball", state Rep. Carl Ford, a Republican, said before voting no on the repeal. California and NY had banned nonessential travel by state employees to North Carolina after HB2 became law. "North Carolina has always had a great national reputation for being a progressive state".
John Lassiter, the chairman of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, said he hasn't been involved in talks with sports organizationsbut noted that "early signals are positive".
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