It was just last year that city officials in Charlotte approved a broad anti-discrimination measure, which included protections that allowed people to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity. With remarkable speed and efficiency, then-Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and the Republican-led state legislature swiftly approved an LGBT state law, HB 2, to undo what Charlotte had done.GOP officials were woefully unprepared for the culture-war backlash, which by some estimates, ended up costing the state dearly. It also contributed to Pat McCrory losing his job -- the Tar Heel State Republican was the only incumbent governor in either party to lose in 2016.The current effort in North Carolina is cleaning up the mess. NBC News confirmed that state policymakers have reached an agreement to repeal the so-called "bathroom bill," but the solution is not without controversy.
The proposed reversal -- which will be debated and voted on Thursday -- has incensed gay-rights activists, who want nothing short of an unconditional repeal of the divisive House Bill 2.This is because the new plan would not cancel out the legislation entirely but replace it with a new law. The new framework would give the state final say over multi-stall restrooms and ensure "women and girls should not have to share bathrooms with men," according to its backers.Unimpressed, activists alleged the proposal was "simply another version" of the old law, and was merely an attempt by officials to stop the financial hemorrhage sparked by its passing.
Gov. Roy Cooper (D), an HB 2 opponent from the outset, told reporters last night, "It's not a perfect deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to repair our reputation."Timing remains a key point of concern. As the NBC affiliate in Raleigh reported, NCAA officials are in the process of making decisions on host cities for future tournaments, and the collegiate association has made clear that North Carolina would not be considered so long as the controversial discriminatory law remained on the books. Without quick approval of a fix, the state will continue to be punished through 2022.With that in mind, the compromise solution, though disappointing to civil-rights advocates, is generally expected to pass today.