LGBT groups feel betrayed by the compromise, which came after Bruce Springsteen and PayPal boycotted the state for an anti-transgender law
The NCAA succeeded where the Boss couldn’t.
North Carolina today passed legislation that repealed a controversial bill forcing transgender people to use public bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificate, in a move triggered by widespread boycotts and public pressure.
The new law effectively allows transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity, but removes the right of local governments to pass anti-discrimination protections. North Carolina enacted the law, popularly known as HB2, last year in response to a Charlotte ordinance which barred discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The repeal is primarily the result of pressure from the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which reportedly told North Carolina leaders that it would not consider the state’s bids to host events if the law was still on the books by week’s end. Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas canceled gigs in the Tar Heel State after the law was passed, while companies from PayPal to Lionsgate Entertainment and Deutsche Bank have ripped up expansion plans there.
Local businesses applauded the deal, with commerce advocacy group Charlotte Chamber urging lawmakers to support the compromise. A recent Associated Press analysis found that HB2 would cost the state more than $3.7 billion and likely led to former GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the bill, losing re-election last November.
The compromise has been denounced on both ends of the political spectrum. Activist Janet Mock, a transwoman, tweeted that the deal was “incendiary,” noting that it banned local non-discrimination protections for the next four years. “There are no protections in the repeal bill for transgender people as it leaves the issue open,” says Simone Bell, southern regional director of Lambda Legal, an LGBT rights group. “Bathrooms have always been a vulnerable space for transgender people.”
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) March 30, 2017
Meanwhile, social conservatives complained that the state was succumbing to pressure from media and entertainment elites. Dan Bishop, the Republican state senator who sponsored HB2, reportedly said the NCAA was “abusing [its] power” over the state.
— Colin Campbell (@RaleighReporter) March 30, 2017
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