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Highlighting HB2: Your Guide To The North Carolina "Bathroom Bill"
12/19/2016 Legislation Andrew S
keywords: Bathrooms HB2 LGBTQ North Carolina

Controversy is par for the course in politics, but some laws are too contentious to preserve. A recent North Carolina law on transgender issues created nationwide outrage— so much so that its architects are now looking to repeal it.

Statute In Summary

The Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, more commonly known as HB2, affirms the supremacy of the State of North Carolina on a number of legislative issues. It forbids cities from going beyond state laws regarding discrimination in the workplace, rules for public accommodations, the minimum wage, and other social and business issues. The law is controversial because it prevents city and county governments from passing their own anti-discrimination laws if they think state laws do not go far enough. Notably, it reverses an ordinance by the City of Charlotte that protected the right of transgender people to use public restrooms that conform with their gender identity. Under the new law, someone may only use the restroom of the gender that appears on their birth certificate.

Controversy Considered

HB2 has sparked controversy throughout the United States. Supporters of the law claim that it will prevent men from dressing up as women, going into women’s restrooms, and sexually assaulting the women in there. Opponents counter that it undermines the fundamental rights of transgender people, that there is no evidence that LGBTQ accommodations lead to sexual assault, and that many sexual assault victims are men and perpetrators are women. In protest of HB2, prominent companies such as PayPal, Deutsche Bank, and Red Ventures have refused to do business in North Carolina, while tourists from other states have refused to visit. This has cost the state an estimated $77 million in revenue and 1,750 jobs since the law has gone into effect. 

The Road To Repeal?

In the wake of a massive backlash, economic damage, and defeat in the state’s recent gubernatorial election, North Carolina Republicans have indicated that they are ready to repeal the law. NC House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger announced that they will pass a new law undoing HB2. Outgoing Republican Governor Pat McCrory, who lost his bid for reelection in November, supports the repeal.

The repeal came with a price: the City of Charlotte first had to nullify their original pro-LGBTQ ordinance, which they did last Monday. Many supporters of LGBTQ rights believe that this was necessary to get rid of HB2; now that it is gone, local governments can pass new anti-discrimination laws without state interference.

Source: Andrew S

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