Three Democratic state legislators in North Carolina brought forth a Senate bill this past Wednesday aimed at repealing last year’s HB2 anti-transgender “bathroom” bill that ushered in economic repercussions for the state due to its targeting of LGBTQ individuals.
SB25 offers a “clean” repeal, as opposed to the failed December attempt that belatedly tacked on an unnecessary six-month moratorium on local nondiscrimination ordinances that led to its bipartisan defeat, and is sponsored by Senators Jeff Jackson, Angela Bryant and Floyd McKissick. North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director Kimberly Reynolds said of the new bill:
“Each day it remains on the books, House Bill 2 continues to tarnish North Carolina’s national image and cost us tourism, investment, and jobs. Between the Democratic and Republican caucuses, there are enough votes for a clean repeal – just as there were in December. After getting us into this mess, Speaker Moore and President Pro Tem Berger should show some leadership for once and put North Carolina first by finally repealing this bill.”
Several economists have said HB2 has contributed to the loss of more than $600 million to the state’s economy, and thousands of lost jobs from potential new and expanded projects. North Carolina also lost NCAA and neutral site ACC championship events, including the NCAA men’s basketball tournament from Greensboro and the ACC football title game from Charlotte.
The negative attention and fervent activism centered on HB2 has fittingly served as a cautionary tale for other states who seek similar statutes.
Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, who was elected this past fall in part due to a voter backlash against former governor Pat McCrory’s stewardship and dogged defense of HB2, has already signaled his hope that the GOP-controlled NC Assembly would be able to finally repeal the bill on a bipartisan basis, which he would willingly sign.