A bipartisan agreement to repeal North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” fell apart [Reuters report] Wednesday after each party accused the other of reneging on promises. House Bill 2 (HB2) [text, PDF] is a state law requiring transgender people to use the public bathroom associated with the sex listed on their birth certificate. The bill was launched in response [BBC report] to an ordinance from the City of Charlotte [official website] that extended protections on the LGBT community. The Republican-dominated Senate [official website] agreed to repeal HB2 on the condition that Charlotte repeal its ordinance. The city of Charlotte voted 7-2 in an emergency session [WSJ report] to repeal the ordinance but the repeal of HB2 never took place. Before voting on Wednesday, Republicans added a provision to the repeal that included a 6 month moratorium on cities passing nondiscrimination ordinances similar to the one Charlotte repealed. HB2 has caused heavy political and economic fallout since it was passed. The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina [official website] issued a statement [press release] saying, “The legislature may not be willing to undo their unconstitutional overreach and respect the rights of LGBT people, so we’ll just have to see them in court.”
North Carolina’s stance on LGBT rights has been a topic of national controversy. The state’s Governor Pat McCrory dismissed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in September and declared that HB2 did not violate federal law. In April McCrory issued an executive order [JURIST report] to clarify HB 2 in response to significant backlash. In March North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper stated during a press conference that he would not defend [JURIST report] the law, which he considers to be discriminatory against the LGBT community. Earlier that week North Carolina individuals and civil rights groups filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against McCrory, claiming that the bill he signed one week prior was unconstitutional and discriminatory. Earlier that month McCrory signed the bill into law [JURIST report], preventing local governments from enacting their own nondiscrimination ordinances and making them unable to pass laws allowing transgender people to use the public restroom or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity.