After the NCAA set a March 30 deadline for North Carolina to repeal the much controversial HB2 law or else they won’t host any collegiate sports championships until 2022, it appears that NC lawmakers have made a deal to change the law which eliminates anti-discrimination protections on LGBT people and to require people to use the restroom of the gender on their birth certificate, rather than their current gender. The repeal will go to a vote Thursday morning.

According to the Charlotte Observer and a statement from Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, the bill is going to do the following:

▪ Repeal HB2.

▪ Leave bathroom regulation to the state, essentially returning to the status quo before Charlotte passed a 2016 ordinance allowing transgender people to use the restroom of their gender identity.

▪ Enact a moratorium on similar ordinances until Dec. 1, 2020.

So, in other words, things are tabled for nearly four years until less than a month after the next North Carolina gubernatorial election, in which then the state legislature could come back and enact the same law that the NCAA has been boycotting.

While this may sound great and lawmakers hope this will result in getting the NCAA back, many LGBTQ groups, as well as politicians against HB2 in the first place, don’t feel these changes are worth anything because individual cities cannot adopt their own anti-discrimination laws until 2020.

“Rep. Cecil Brockman, one of two openly LGBT lawmakers, slammed the door in frustration when leaving a caucus meeting. The Human Rights Campaign and Equality NC issued a news release as negotiations continued.

“The rumored HB2 ‘deal’ does nothing more than double-down on discrimination and would ensure North Carolina remains the worst state in the nation for LGBTQ people,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “The consequences of this hateful law will only continue without full repeal of HB2. Sellouts cave under pressure. Leaders fight for what’s right.””

This may be what lawmakers were able to pass between Republicans and Democrats, but it’ll remain to be seen if this will be enough for the NCAA. Surely, the only reason why HB2 is even getting changed now is because of the NCAA’s ultimatum and that state lawmakers know North Carolina would lose millions in revenue (estimated at a potential $250 million from 2018 through 2022) from postseason games if they didn’t do something. It definitely isn’t because lawmakers suddenly wised up as a whole to realize HB2 was a rather discriminatory law that was based on fear and ignorance. Otherwise, it would’ve been repealed long ago.
LGBTQ groups and supporters plan to keep pressure on the NCAA and other sports leagues to continue their various boycotts until there’s a full repeal.

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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