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LGBTQ Community: NC's Repeal of HB2 Does More Harm than Help

North Carolina's "bathroom bill" repeal already is drawing sharp criticism from the LGBTQ community. (Shelly/Flickr)
North Carolina's "bathroom bill" repeal already is drawing sharp criticism from the LGBTQ community. (Shelly/Flickr)
March 31, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. - Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday signed a bill overturning North Carolina's controversial "Bathroom Bill" after it passed the state House and Senate on the same day. But the repeal legislation, House Bill 142, leaves many LGBTQ advocates feeling as though little if any progress was made in restoring the rights of transgender people in the Tar Heel State.

"We see it as a 'fake repeal' of HB 2 because, actually, it does nothing to eliminate the harm to transgender people," said Simone Bell, southern regional director for Lambda Legal. "In fact, it allows the harm to maintain in the law."

Bell was referring to a compromise in the bill that creates a three-year ban for cities and counties, prohibiting them from passing their own laws offering further protections to the LGBTQ community. Bell said the three-year ban on extending additional protections to people who are transgender in some ways is more harmful than the initial law.

"This particular bill does not expire until 2020, so that is the first time that people can begin to pass bills again," she said. "So, it actually puts a moratorium on seeking those particular rights."

State lawmakers were spurred into action this week after the NCAA said it would pull championship games through 2022 unless changes were made to the law this week. There is as yet no word on whether HB 142 is enough for the NCAA to keep championship games in the state, although the ACLU and Lambda Legal are calling for the organization to reject the deal.

The text of the bill is online at ncleg.net.

Stephanie Carson/Dallas Heltzell, Public News Service - NC