HB2, North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” which not only bars cities from putting in place protections for transgender people as Charlotte and Asheville have done, but also includes tangents which are designed to stop minimum wage laws, was just repealed. North Carolina’s Republican legislators have reached a deal with newly elected governor Roy Cooper to repeal the law. However, just like the last deal Cooper allegedly masterminded, this one doesn’t really mean anything, as it leaves the state’s restrictions on NDOs in place until 2020, at which time Cooper will be up for re-election and the state legislators can put the law back in place if he doesn’t win. Essentially, this deal is kicking the can down the road and giving NC Republicans the option to keep the anti-LGBT parts of the law in place permanently. Equality North Carolina and the NC branch of the ACLU have organized a rally in opposition to this deal and demanding a full repeal of HB2. Cooper better be damn confident in his ability to win re-election in a state that voted for him by a slim margin in the first place.
If you’re unfamiliar with HB2, it’s essentially the culmination of a long running feud between Charlotte and Raleigh. Charlotte passed a non-discrimination ordinance after a full year of debate and hours of public commentary. HB2 was the state’s heavy-handed response, essentially eliminating the ability of any city to make any amount of substantial progress on a variety of social issues.
NC used taxpayer money to call a special session to put HB2 in place. Since then, the state has squandered even more taxpayer money in lost business and court fees when they were sued by the Justice Department for spitting on the constitution.
Now, you might be thinking, “wait, I thought conservatives hated big government overreach”. Well, it turns out that some principles are situational, especially when it comes to protecting people.
Pat McCrory was notably upset when civil rights groups challenged the law, and he was particularly whiny when HB2 became a campaign issue, leading to the narrow election of Roy Cooper, who immediately tried to broker a deal between Charlotte and the Republican congress of the state. The deal failed after Charlotte repealed the ordinance. They haven’t put it back in place yet, but I would support it so long as the first line read “effective upon the removal of the heads from the representatives of North Carolina’s respective asses”
Charlotte on Acid has an entire tab dedicated to HB2, so for more history on the law, read the past articles on this site.