Repeal Of North Carolina’s HB2 ‘Bathroom Bill’ Dies

Sara D. Davis

North Carolina’s HB2 law, often referred to as the “Bathroom Bill,” failed to be repealed on Wednesday. The law forces anyone whose gender identity differs from the one listed their birth certificate to use the bathroom of their “biological sex.” Senate Bill 4, which was slated to repeal HB2, was expected to pass with both Republican and Democrat support this week. Just as the repeal was set to occur, it ended in failure, the Huffington Post reported Wednesday.

With Republicans accusing the Democrats of “political grandstanding” and the Democrats crying foul on the moratorium on new ordinances over the next six months of Governor-elect Roy Cooper’s tenure, the General Assembly adjourned with Republicans reneging on the deal.

At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the special session of the General Assembly ended, effectively killing the repeal of HB2 for the time being.

At heart of the Democrats’ concerns was a Republican addition to the repeal that prevents any new nondiscrimination ordinances for the next six months, which some consider a limitation of power for Governor-elect Roy Cooper.

“I am disappointed that Republican legislative leaders refused to live up to their promise to fully repeal House Bill 2,” Cooper told ABC News. “I’m disappointed for the people of North Carolina – the jobs that they may not get. I’m disappointed that we haven’t yet removed the stain from our reputation around the country and around the world.”

Governor-elect Roy Cooper addresses crowd.
RALEIGH, N.C - NOVEMBER 9: North Carolina Democratic presumptive Governor elect Roy Cooper waves to a crowd alongside his wife, Kristin Cooper, at the North Carolina Democratic Watch Party on November 9, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina's gubernatorial race was still too close to call at 1:00 a.m. Cooper stated he felt positive the votes would fall in his favor. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)Featured image credit: Sara D. DavisGetty Images

Opposing views from Republicans stated that it was “party politics” that played a role in the failure to repeal HB2. Phil Berger, the Republican Senate leader in North Carolina, responded with his opinion on why the repeal failed.

“Their [Democrats] action proves they only wanted a repeal in order to force radical social engineering and shared bathrooms across North Carolina, at the expense of our state’s families, our reputation and our economy,” Berger told CNN.

The NAACP has also called for a boycott of North Carolina, ABC News reported. William Barber, North Carolina NAACP President, offered his assessment.

“Some people like to say this is Democrat versus Republican, but this is extremism,” Barber told ABC News. “This is a party that has been hijacked by extremists who are afraid they cannot win if things are fair.”

The controversial law, which was met with heavy protests nationwide, passed in March, 2016, has also cost North Carolina revenue, with businesses such as PayPal, the NCAA, and the NBA refusing to hold events in the state, and various artists like Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Buffett refusing to perform concerts because of HB2. Estimates for what the bill has already cost the state vary from 200 million to half a billion in lost revenue, according to Advocate.

Crow protests HB2 law.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C - NOVEMBER 2: Someone in the crowds holds up a T-Shirt reading "Can you hear us now, Pat?" addressing Governor Pat McCrory (D-NC) and his HB2 law during U.S. President Barack Obama speech on the campus of the University of Chapel Hill on November 2, 2016 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. President Obama was campaigning for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)Featured image credit: Sara D. DavisGetty Images

The General Assembly meets regular session on January 11 to determine if a repeal of the HB2 law can move forward. As for now, HB2 still prevents those affected from using the bathroom that is congruent with their gender identity.

Whether or not the repeal of HB2 happens in the next, regular session on January 11, 2017, for LGBTQ folks, using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity remains a risk to their community.

[Featured Image by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images]