In response to the infamous House Bill II (HB2), which was passed in North Carolina legislation last year after significant backing from former Governor Pat McCrory, current Governor Roy Cooper did a partial repeal of the bill and has signed an executive order forwarding the transgender platform even further.
HB2 was extremely controversial in its nature, as it blocked members of the transgender community from being allowed to use the bathroom opposite of their biological sex without legal documentation of a sex change. It was met with widespread backlash and national media coverage, with many speculating it cost McCrory a second term in office.
Almost immediately, Governor Cooper attempted to fully repeal the bill, but the bill was voted against, indicating a strong conservative base still in North Carolina. Cooper later tried a partial repeal which succeeded in passing.
House Bill II, now known as House Bill 142, has been changed again by Cooper, who recently added an addendum through executive order.
The addendum states that the bill “…prohibits discrimination in his administration on the grounds of race, color, ethnicity, sex, National Guard or veteran status, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression in employment.”
This addendum now covers gender identity and expression, meaning employers may not discriminate among their employees solely because they feel they were born a different gender than their biological sex.
This addendum has also sparked controversy, this time receiving backlash from the right side of the political spectrum.
Conservative Lt. Governor Dan Forest has been on record stating “Governor Cooper’s Executive Order once again opens the bathroom stall for those who would seek to do women and children harm while falsely claiming they are transgender….his order creates a legal loophole that will be exploited by non-transgender pedophiles, stalkers and perverts. All bathrooms at state rest areas, parks and museums will now be fertile ground for sexual deviants who will falsely claim to be transgender to gain protected access to our women and children.”
The left side of the political spectrum gave a lukewarm reaction to the bill, but still a more positive reaction than the right.
“It is important to note that some of the worst portions of the HB2 compromise, HB142, remain on the books and continue to cause real harm to LGBTQ North Carolinians every day,” said Matt Hirschy, Interim Executive Director for Equality NC.
“While the executive order issued today is a step in the right direction, the fact remains that a majority of LGBTQ North Carolinians lack protections in housing, employment and public accommodations. Realizing that there is more work to be done, we are hopeful that Governor Roy Cooper will work harder for positive change for our community and others. Equality NC will not stop until every North Carolinian feels safe in their community,” continued Hirschy.
This development will likely be difficult to overturn without overwhelming support, and another version of HB2 would likely simply be vetoed by Cooper, indicating this addendum to the bill is here to stay. It shows a small step forward in regards to the transgender platform and may be an indicator of more steps to come.