North Carolina is poised to repeal the controversial “Bathroom Bill” which mandates that state rest room use corresponds to a person’s sex designated at birth. The Charlotte City Council voted to repeal their local nondiscrimination ordinance which prompted passage of the Bathroom Bill, also called HB2, in the first place.
HB2 mandated that all bathroom use in the State be performed in accordance with a person’s sex at birth, regardless of choice or designation by an individual. Transsexuals undergoing hormone therapy or who had transitioned surgically would be denied access to their preferred bathroom under penalty of law.
The controversial Bathroom Bill also specifically excluded sexual orientation and gender identity from anti discrimination laws. The Bathroom Bill has cost North Carolina thousands of jobs, threats of lawsuits from the Federal Government and most likely current Republican Governor, Pat McCrory, a second term. Incoming Democrat Roy Cooper made the Bathroom Bill a major issue in his campaign to unseat McCrory in an election that was decided days after the vote was held.
Charlotte City Councilwoman Claire Green Fallon said that she had no idea that Cooper and the City Council had hammered out a deal over the weekend. When the Charlotte City Council met and voted to uphold their end of the bargain they put a caveat in the repeal passage that said it was contingent on North Carolina repealing HB2. In addition to the Bathroom Bill, the Charlotte City Council allowed the repeal to reaffirm that no city in North Carolina could mandate businesses to pay a higher minimum wage than mandated by State Law.
Supporters of HB2 said they did not believe that North Carolina legislators would abandon HB2 and threatened reprisal at the ballot box if they did.
Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition said in a statement:
“We’re sending the message to our supporters that lawmakers should not now betray people who supported them and compromise common-sense principles like privacy, dignity and freedom from our citizens. Repeal also would break faith with social conservatives just weeks after they knocked on thousands of doors to back McCrory’s re-election effort”
This sets up a bigger fight in North Carolina about state defined gender definitions and rights between Democratic Governor Cooper and the Republican dominated State Legislature.