North Carolina governor signs legislation replacing transgender ‘bathroom bill’

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed legislation Thursday repealing the state’s controversial House Bill 2 (HB2), dubbed the “bathroom bill,” passed in 2016.

The new law effectively ends HB2’s requirement that people in government facilities only use the bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the gender specified on their birth certificate.

“For over a year now, House Bill 2 has been a dark cloud hanging over our great state. It has stained our reputation. It has discriminated against our people and it has caused great economic harm in many of our communities,” said Cooper.

The fallout after HB2 passed in March 2016 was swift and severe.

The NBA and NCAA moved the 2017 All-Star Weekend and tournament basketball events from Charlotte, where it was originally to be hosted, to New Orleans and Greenville, S.C., respectively.

Bruce Springsteen, Marron 5 and other musicians canceled concerts, and businesses such as PayPal, Deutsche Bank and Lionsgate canceled plans to expand or set up business in the state.

According to an AP analysis, it is estimated that North Carolina will lose $3.76 billion in business revenue over the next 12 years as a result of HB2, with the scrapped PayPal facility alone costing the Tar Heel State a staggering $2.66 billion.

The repeal of HB2 was celebrated by some, but others feel the law does not go far enough. The repeal does not put discrimination protections in place for the LGBTQ community, and was effectively a compromise between the Democratic governor and the Republican-held legislature.

According to a statement by GLAAD, the bill was passed for economic reasons, and did not focus on the people impacted by HB2.

“This so-called ‘deal’ is politics at its worst and was only made as the state faced losing key NCAA events and further economic damage. What we witnessed was a last-minute idea thrown together with little thought of protecting transgender residents,” GLAAD said.
Some legislators and advocacy groups even went so far as to call the bill “HB2.0.” Cooper acknowledged that the bill is far from perfect, but said it is “an important step forward.”
[CNN] [AP via Chicago Tribune] [NPR] [Photo courtesy Chris Seward/AP via Charlotte Observer]