PHOTO: Raleigh, North Carolina. (photo via Flickr/James Willamor)
After almost two hours of intense debate, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted 70-48 Thursday to repeal the now infamous HB2 bathroom bill.
The state senate also passed the legislation by a 32-16 vote earlier Thursday.
While repealing the bill is viewed as a good start to fixing the damage done by HB2, many LGBTQ advocates don’t agree with the compromises in the legislation pipeline. According to The Associated Press, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is expected to sign a new bill, dubbed HB142, which would replace the HB2 bill passed last March under former Gov. Pat McCrory.
Part of the state’s motivation behind passing the new legislation so quickly was a demand from the NCAA, which threatened to not let North Carolina host college championship games through the year 2022 if the bathroom law wasn’t changed by Thursday.
“We are impeding the growth in our revenue, in our ability to do more things for tourism, for teacher pay, while we have this stigma hanging over.” Republican representative Scott Stone said.
“The time has come for us to get out from under the national spotlight for negative things. You can't go anywhere on this planet without somebody knowing what is HB2 and having some perception about it.”
Republican Senator Thom Tillis voiced his support for the legislation on Twitter:
On the other hand, LGBTQ advocates say the new bill will still allow for discrimination due to provisions in the legislation that leave lawmakers in charge of policy over multi-stall bathrooms and halts local governments from passing non-discrimination ordinances until 2020.
“It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you vote for this bill, you are not a friend of the LGBT community,” Equality North Carolina executive director Chris Sgro told The AP. “You are not standing on the right side of the moral arc of history or with the civil rights community.”
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The new legislation also comes just days after another report from The AP revealed that the HB2 bathroom bill would cost North Carolina an estimated $3.76 billion in lost business over the next 12 years.
The analysis found that canceled conventions, concerts and sporting events had already deprived the state of more than $196 million, and it was expected to lose more than $525 million by the end of 2017.