Sarah Kate Purnell
On February 22, NC House Bill 186 was introduced by legislators in hopes to serve as a replacement to controversial bathroom bill, HB2.
“The regulation of access to multiple occupancy bathrooms, to showers, and to changing facilities is a matter of general, statewide concern and the entire field of regulations of such access is preempted from regulation except as provided by an act of General Assembly”, the bill states according to NC Policy Watch.
The new bill would allow cities to adopt nondiscrimination measures. However, the bill includes a referendum clause, allowing those who oppose the measures to rally signatures during the 90-day implementation stage.
According to Scott Gleeson of USA Today, the bill would give colleges and universities the authority to expand classroom safety and create stricter action against bathroom privacy-related crimes.
The bill is being called a “compromise” by Republicans after Cooper’s failed attempts at a clean repeal to HB2. Cooper claims there were enough Democratic backings to repeal HB2, but Republican legislators disagree. Additionally, Cooper did not consent to the filing of HB186.
Republican Reps. Chuck McGrady and Ted Davis Jr., sponsor the bill, as well as Democratic Reps. Marvin Lucas and Ken Goodman.
“But I am concerned that this legislation as written fails the basic text of restoring our reputation, removing discrimination, and bringing jobs and sports back to North Carolina.” Gov. Cooper stated said according to Melissa Boughton at NC Policy Watch.. “I will keep would with legislature.
According to The Daily Tar Heel, Gov. Cooper also stated that the bill would put the fate of minorities into the hands of the majority, exemplifying his disapproval of the referendum clause.
The bill meant to replace HB2 has received backlash from Democrats in claims that it does not restore NC to the way it was prior to the passing of HB2.
“It’s trying to be touted as a compromise when in truth I don’t believe it goes far enough to turn businesses back to North Carolina or bring the economic losses back that we have experienced since the passage of HB2,” Rep. Susan Fisher stated, as reported by The Daily Tar Heel.
The Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner, John Swafford, has stated that with the passing of this new bill, the ACC would consider putting North Carolina back in consideration for holding conference championships.
The ACC removed tournaments from North Carolina back in September after the NCAA stated their disapproval of HB2 and additionally removed championship events for NC.
However, LGBT activist are urging Swafford not to reconsider NC until a full repeal of HB2 is approved.
“The ACC must stand for a full repeal of HB2,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of the LGBT sports organization Campus Pride, reported USA Today. “We need to let the ACC Commissioner and ACC schools know that this repeal effort is not a fix at all. It is not a full repeal and still discriminates against transgender people. The ACC, NCAA and others must stand strong for its values of inclusion and diversity of all athletes and sports fans.”