HB 2 has been a hot topic and the center of controversy for the state of North Carolina for nearly a year. With the NCAA and NBA refusing to hold championship games in the state, and numerous corporations denouncing the legislation and its impact, many have hoped to put enough pressure on the state to force a repeal of the law. Today the North Carolina General Assembly voted on a new bill, HB 142, which repealed HB 2. Here’s what you need to know.

HB 2 was passed during the Second Extra Session of the North Carolina General Assembly in 2016, and adopted into law on March 23 of the same year. It passed with a 32-11 vote in the Senate and an 82-26 vote in the House of Representatives. The law barred the use of single sex multiple occupancy bathrooms by the opposite sex, mandating that citizens use the bathroom of their biological sex. The law also limited the use of single sex multiple occupancy changing facilities to be subject to the same biological, single sex rule.

There were several exceptions stating that those entering single sex multiple occupancy bathrooms of the opposite sex for reasons such as rendering medical assistance and custodial services were not subject to the change. However, the law stated “nothing in this section shall prohibit public agencies from providing accommodations such as single occupancy bathroom or changing facilities upon a person’s request due to special circumstances.”

A later section in the law regarding protection of rights in employment defined the protection of sex to mean only protection for the biological sex of the employee. Previously, some local governments had laws protecting LGBT citizens from employment discrimination, which HB 2 invalidated and overruled. The law also prevented local governments from passing laws contradictory with HB 2 in the future.

The biggest issue with HB 2 was the controversy surrounding LGBT rights. HB 2 explicitly protected biological sex of citizens, but failed to protect transgender citizens. The state of North Carolina and former Governor Pat McCrory came under fire, being accused of intolerance, hate, and failure to protect citizens by advocates of the LGBT community.

For nearly a year, numerous organizations have called on the state of North Carolina to repeal HB 2. From the NBA relocating the All-Star game from Charlotte, to the dozens of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies denouncing the law, North Carolinians felt the economic impact of the legislation, and many felt the pressure to repeal for the sake of the state’s economy.

Last night the Speaker of the House, Tim Moore, and Senate President Pro Tempore, Phil Berger, announced they had come to a final negotiation with Governor Roy Cooper on the repeal of HB 2.

RELATED: 5 Things The Left Won’t Tell You About North Carolina’s “Bathroom Bill” – HB2

This morning, a third edition of HB 142 was unveiled, passed readings, and was approved by the Senate in a 32-16 vote, and the House in a 70-48 vote.The bill was opposed by members of both parties, in both houses. It is now in the Governor’s office to be vetoed or signed.

The passage of HB 142, in effect, repeals HB 2, taking the laws back to their state prior to the passage HB 2. It also prevents any local government from enacting or amending any ordinances regulating private accommodations until 2020.

This does not mean the General Assembly provided protections for the LGBT community. HB 142 preempted state related agencies, including public universities, from regulating access to multiple occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities. However, this still leaves open the private sector to determine their own policy regarding restrooms and similar facilities. So, there is essentially no law prohibiting the use of public single sex restrooms by transgender citizens, but there is also no law protecting their right to do so.
Only time will tell if the repeal of HB 2 will have the economic outcome the Governor and General Assembly are hoping for, and if transgender citizens in North Carolina will receive state protection in the future.

Corrie L
FFL Cabinet Member
Corrie is a Cabinet Member at FFL. She is passionate about coffee, Jesus, and lipstick, and never wears white after Labor Day. If she isn't busy talking about law school or FFL, you can find her studying constitutional law or reviewing a contract. Her plan A is Super Mom turned Supreme Court Justice, and she hopes to one day be just like Sandra Day O"Connor.

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