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North Carolina just voted to overturn their controversial bathroom bill HB2. But don’t celebrate — this deal isn’t good for trans people.
HB2 drew immense criticism for its restrictions on the LGBTQ community. The law banned trans people from using the bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity.
In response, celebrities, businesses and athletic organizations boycotted the state. North Carolina lost millions of dollars in revenue, and stood to lose billions in the future. And an angry queer mob chased transphobic ex-governor Pat McCrory down an alley chanting, “Shame!”
But North Carolina just voted on a deal to overturn HB2.
NBC News reports:
The state’s House passed the bill 70-48 on Thursday afternoon after nearly two hours of heated debate. The state’s Senate passed the bill by a 32-16 vote earlier in the day, after a deal was struck late Wednesday by the state’s new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who campaigned on fully repealing the HB2 bill, and North Carolina’s leading Republican lawmakers, who have supported the measure.
This might sound great, but it’s not. It actually makes things worse for North Carolina’s trans community.
Here’s what the new bill does, according to the News Observer:
- Repeal HB2.
- Leave bathroom regulation to the state, essentially returning to the status quo before Charlotte passed a 2016 ordinance allowing transgender people to use the restroom of their gender identity.
- Enact a moratorium on similar ordinances until Dec. 1, 2020.
Leaving bathroom regulation to majority-conservative North Carolina more or less ensures a state-wide ban on trans people from public bathrooms. Formerly, individual cities like Charlotte had tried to pass legislation allowing trans people to use facilities that suited their gender identities. But now, trans people won’t even have little islands of tolerance.
Even worse, the moratorium ensures that legislators won’t be able to fix anything for the next few years.
LGBTQ activists are furious. James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project, quoted in NBC, said, “This is not a repeal of HB 2. Instead, they’re reinforcing the worst aspects of the law. North Carolina lawmakers should be ashamed of this backroom deal that continues to play politics with the lives of LGBT North Carolinians.”
(Header image via Shelly Prevost)