After convening a special legislative session for the purpose of repealing the controversial “bathroom bill,” North Carolina legislators left Wednesday with the law still in place.
Republicans in the Legislature debated over whether to fully or partially repeal the measure, and Democrats accused them of reneging on a pledge to completely eliminate H.B. 2, which requires people to use the bathroom of the gender on their birth certificate regardless of their gender identity.
The Washington Post reports that after a series of attempts to come to an agreement, the Senate voted down a bill to repeal the law, and the House adjourned without acting. Both the House and the Senate are scheduled to reconvene in January.
As previously reported on The Root, the law known as House Bill 2 requires transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate. It also limits statewide protections for LGBT people in public accommodations and employment, and it reinforces a prohibition on local governments from raising the minimum wage. Further, it limits the power of local governments to enact nondiscrimination measures that would go further than state law.
Passage of the bill resulted in losses to the state, including jobs, concerts and sporting events. Talks of repealing the law increased after both the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference decided to move their championship events out of the state this year in response to the law. The NBA also moved an All-Star Game out of Charlotte.
The Post reports that gay and transgender groups immediately condemned the outcome of Wednesday’s nine-hour session and criticized Republicans for preserving “hateful” legislation.
“Today, the public trust has been betrayed once again. Lawmakers sent a clear message: North Carolina remains closed for business,” Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement.
Republicans blamed Democrats for the stalemate after citing their rejection of a version of the repeal that would have imposed a six-month moratorium on cities passing nondiscrimination ordinances to protect gay and transgender people.
“Make no mistake: [Gov.-elect] Roy Cooper and Senate Democrats killed the repeal” of the bill, Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger said in a statement. “Their action proves they only wanted a repeal in order to force radical social engineering and shared bathrooms across North Carolina, at the expense of our state’s families, our reputation and our economy.”
Cooper took aim at Republicans, too.
“The Republican legislative leaders have broken their word to me, and they have broken their trust with the people of North Carolina,” Cooper said. “This was our best chance. It cannot be our last chance.”
Read more at the Washington Post.