By KRISTIN ROMAN / Staff Writer
On March 30th, the passing of House Bill 142 repealed North Carolina’s notorious bathroom bill, House Bill 2. This came after a near two-hour debate and a 70-48 vote in the Senate. H.B.142 repeals section one of H.B.2, which detailed that individuals had to use public facilities, such as locker rooms and bathrooms that correspond with their “biological sex.” Section one caused an uproar across the nation nearly a year ago when it was passed because it didn’t allow transgender individuals to use the facilities that match their gender identity. Now that the most controversial part of H.B.2 is repealed, people are looking at the amendment to section two brought on by H.B.142.
It states that, “state agencies, boards, offices, departments, institutions, branches of government,” and the state’s college systems cannot regulate the “access to multiple occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities.” In addition, H.B.142 prevents cities “from passing their own nondiscrimination ordinances until December 2020” after North Carolina’s next governor election. This amendment has caused yet another uproar from LGBTQ+ organizations because, as the Human Rights Campaign’s President, Chad Griffin, argues: “It boxes LGBTQ+ people out of local nondiscrimination protections in a state without statewide protections.”
There had been a push to find a “backdoor deal” for H.B.2 because North Carolina was getting close to the NCAA’s proposed deadline. The NCAA had threatened that if H.B.2 hadn’t been repealed by a certain time, then the state would lose the chance to host their events in the forthcoming years. With the possibility of even more money and tourism being lost from the state, Governor Roy Cooper signed the bill into law. The NBA also has confirmed that the state, “is now eligible to host future All Star Games.” The state is now trying to recover both economically and socially from the mistake that was H.B.2, even though various LGBTQ+ organizations are urging people not to be misled by the repeal.
Even though there is no longer a stipulation as to which bathroom individuals use, “it stills leaves the regulation” aspect “to the state,” which is still worrisome to the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. As for people and organizations within the community living in North Carolina, they continue to push for equal protection from the state with the hopes that eventually their voices will be heard and respected.