dglobalnews.com 'Bathroom bill' could cost North Carolina more NCAA events
Published: Fri, March 31, 2017
Medical | By Benjamin Edwards

'Bathroom bill' could cost North Carolina more NCAA events

A compromise bill to repeal HB2 blasted by LGBTQ and civil rights groups has been passed by the North Carolina Senate ahead of a looming deadline from the NCAA and is headed to the House which is expected to take it up this afternoon.

The deal, announced Wednesday night, would eliminate the law created by last year's House Bill 2. It has stained our reputation. "It has discriminated against our people and it has caused great economic harm in many of our communities".

Carcano said the proposal replaces House Bill 2 with a "new form of violence" against LGBT people and is sacrificing "our lives and our safety for the sake of basketball". Passed in a one-day special session last March, HB 2 limits LGBT nondiscrimination protections and requires transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate.

Cooper-who won office last November nearly exclusively due to his opposition to the GOP's "bathroom bill"-just presided over a deal that explicitly locks in discrimination against gay and transgender Americans for the foreseeable future".

"We are yielding the moral high ground and giving in to a new form of corporate extortion from an unaccountable, out of state, non-elected, tax-exempt organization (NCAA) and for what?... a ballgame?"

Cooper, a staunch opponent of the bathroom law who took office in January, said the compromise was a step in the right direction.

The group had come out strongly against the deal in a series of tweets earlier Thursday, calling on the NCAA to reject the deal and not "settle for this fake repeal".

HB2 had also restricted local governments' ability to enact nondiscrimination ordinances on behalf of gay or transgender people.

That may have put pressure on North Carolina's politicians to hammer out this week's deal. Cooper has said he supports the repeal bill.

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And some wording in the compromise bill appears even more sweeping than HB2 in prohibiting what local governments can require from the private sector.

But it's unclear whether the proposed changes in House Bill 142 would be enough to sway the NCAA, as LGBT activists vehemently blasted the bill, which exempts schools from state bathroom regulations but keeps in place the ban for anti-discrimination laws until December 2020.

Chris Sgro, executive director of Equality NC, called the agreement a "shell piece of a legislation", in which the LGBTQ groups had not been consulted.

"It's not a ideal deal, but it repeals House Bill 2 and begins to fix our reputation", said Cooper, who earlier this week noted the current law could end up costing the state almost $4 billion.

The bill then passed the House, 70-48; it was opposed by twice as many Republicans (31) as Democrats (15).

Advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people said the new version would allow discrimination to continue.

The delay - until December 2020 - could give time for multiple federal lawsuits over transgender issues to play out.

Greensboro was set to host first- and second-round games of the NCAA Tournament this postseason but lost the games to Greenville, South Carolina, when the NCAA pulled seven championships out of the state citing the association's values "of inclusion and gender equity". It actually makes things worse for North Carolina's trans community.

"It's the background noise in every economic development project", Copeland said, echoing the concerns of business recruiters who fear the state was left off the list when companies considered relocations and expansions.

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