North Carolina House Bill 2 (HB2) [text, PDF], commonly known as the “bathroom bill,” was repealed [HB142, PDF] on Thursday. Governor Roy Cooper [official website] signed HB142 [press release], which repeals HB2, after the legislature passed the bill [HB142 docket] in a 70-48 vote. In signing the bill, Cooper stated that the bill was meant to not only end discrimination against the LGBT community but also repair the reputation of North Carolina, which has lost jobs and sporting events due to the controversy over the earlier law. The bill removes the requirement that people in government-run facilities use multi-occupancy bathrooms corresponding with their birth gender. It also allows local governments to pass and amend their own nondiscrimination ordinances beginning in 2020.
North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” has generated significant controversy. In February, six Democrats in the North Carolina House of Representatives filed a bill [JURIST report] to repeal HB2. Last May, former governor Pat McCrory filed a complaint for declaratory judgment asking the federal court to weigh in on the legality of the bill, but withdrew [JURIST reports] from the lawsuit in September. In March 2016 Cooper, then-North Carolina Attorney General, stated during a press conference that he would not defend [JURIST report] HB2, 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 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. In February of that year, McCrory issued an executive order [JURIST report] clarifying that the intention of the bill was to prevent crimes in bathrooms and similar places.