Opinion: North Carolina’s Bathroom Bill Repeal Is Sham


It isn’t unusual for political commentators to accuse Republicans of doing anything, no matter how untoward, how inhumane, or how despicable, for economic benefits. Now, there is a glaring example of Democrats selling out for the sake of economics and some kind of sham they labeled “a compromise.” If the so-called “repeal” of North Carolina’s “bathroom law” (HB2) is a compromise, it is only in that a Democratic governor compromised whatever humanitarian values he claimed hold near and dear to lure college basketball association games back to North Carolina.

First, the “repeal” ploy seemed to fool one collegiate basketball association that either failed to read the text of the sham repeal or are complicit in the Republican savages’ success at what anyone with a brain has labeled a “bait and switch.” The biggest collegiate organization, the NCAA, has not yet weighed in on whether it is as gullible as North Carolina Republicans and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper believe they are. As many, many critics of the “repeal” farce have noted, this so-called compromise was “geared toward making money off all those [NCAA basketball] games.”

The bottom line of the phony HB2 repeal is that it effectively “maintains” most of the aspects of original HB2, including prohibiting municipalities from establishing any “LGBT protections at the local level.” It also “mandates” that “in all public facilities, transgender people can only use facilities that match the sex on their birth certificates.” It is exactly like HB2 that was “repealed.” As Esquire’s opinion columnist, Charles P. Pierce, rightly noted: “Alas for all involved, this latest move is nothing if not further proof that political ‘compromise’ is often more camouflage than anything else.” Mr. Pierce was being overly generous in labeling the HB2 repeal as “camouflage.” It is pure bullshit that Democratic Governor Roy Cooper claimed “begins to repair our reputation.

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As various LGBT advocacy groups weighed in on the “bait and switch” scam, their anger has been directed at Governor Roy Cooper as much as religious Republicans who wrote the original law and ‘compromise’ scam. LGBTQ rights groups rightly claim that the Democrat Cooper broke his campaign promise to repeal HB2 that Republicans are desperate to keep in place. The bill may say “repeal,” but Republicans succeeding in keeping the discriminatory legislation in place and very few groups were fooled.

For example, the Human Rights Campaign’s Chad Griffin said:

This ‘deal’ does NOT repeal HB2. It’s simply another version of HB2 dressed up in a way desperate lawmakers hope will save the state’s economy. Any ally of the LGBTQ community cannot support this ‘new version’ of HB2. There will be political consequences for those who do, Dem and Rep.”

Sarah Kate Ellis of GLAAD agreed with Mr. Griffin and said:

This is bad, doubles down on discrimination and leaves LGBTQ unprotected. RoyCooperNC we will keep the pressure on – this is wrong. Fix this.”

Equality NC’s Chris Sgro said the compromise is a “train wreck that doubles down on anti-LGBTQ discrimination.”

The National Center for Transgender Equality’s Mara Keisling labeled the compromise “a cynical ploy that will continue to hurt North Carolina and transgender people Gov. Cooper ran his campaign on fully repealing HB2 and protecting transgender North Carolinians. It is an outrageous betrayal that he supports this ‘fake’ repeal.”

One of the ACLU attorneys advocating for equal and civil rights while litigating against HB2 highlightedthat by continuing to regulate bathroom usage, the ‘compromise’ reinforces the stigma against transgender people. Do not be fooled by HB2.0. There is no repeal, only the further and insidious targeting of trans people and lives.”

The corporate world also weighed in and they were not fooled any more than human rights advocates. Levi Strauss and Co. wrote: “We stand w/HRC and EqualityNC in urging North Carolina lawmakers to reject a ‘backroom deal” on anti-LGBTQ HB2.”

Dow Public Policy wrote, “The economic impact of having legislation that discriminates, $3.76bn over 12 years.” Red Truck Labs tweeted agreement with Dow and said: “DowPolicy nice to see you stepping up. HB2 discriminates and hurts us all economically.”

What should have been a glaring sign that the phony HB2 repeal was not a repeal at all was former governor and HB2’s most ardent supporter, Pat McCrory’s praise for the “compromise” and call for the Republican legislature and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper “to stick with this ‘deal’ that still respects privacy.”

The NCAA, the group Republicans and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper passed the renamed HB2 “toilet law” compromise to lure back to North Carolina still have not issued any comment on the repeal scam. However, earlier this month in a statement by NCAA President Mark Emmert, he and the NCAA board were ‘recommitted’ to:

“Maintaining a college sports experience that is inclusive and fair for all individuals regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bidding process for hosting NCAA events now explicitly asks potential sites how they will provide an environment that is safe, respectful and free of discrimination at the events.”

If Mr. Emmert is being completely honest, and there is no reason yet to believe otherwise, then the NCAA will not even consider holding any events in North Carolina. HB2 is still in force and just because the Republican legislature and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper “compromised” and created a replacement discriminatory HB2 under the guise of “repeal,” it means they are still discriminating against a class of Americans based on religion and are no better than the dirty lying con man in the White House.

One honestly believed that Democrat Roy Cooper was not a sellout, or would ever be willing to support discriminatory legislation written and promoted by religious Republicans, something he did without remorse. The only thing Mr. Cooper accomplished was reinforcing the opinion that North Carolina will continue unabated discriminating according to the religious rights’ edicts and instead of repairing North Carolina’s reputation, North Carolina’s Democratic governor just reminded Americans that when money is involved, Democrats can be just as savage as Republicans.

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