Not, you know, for its transgender citizens. The strategy of boycotting states that pass discriminatory laws seemed to pay off in North Carolina this Thursday, as the state House passed a new “compromise” bill that replaces HB2, its so-called transgender bathroom bill. The nail in the coffin seemed to be the NCAA’s threat to cross North Carolina off its list of championship hosting sites for the next five years if it didn’t repeal HB2. The bill is expected to be signed into law by the state’s Democratic Governor Roy Cooper, who ran on a platform to repeal HB2.
However, what some are calling a repeal looks to many LGBT advocates like a bait-and-switch. The new HB 142 imposes a moratorium until 2020 that restricts localities from passing any new anti-discrimination ordinances, and leaves it up to the conservative state legislature to approve any new measures regulating access to bathrooms. This leaves trans people in a legal limbo, with no new protections and the status quo (where gender identity was not protected) enshrined. Ultimately, they still can’t use the bathroom in peace.
The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against HB2 said today that “lawmakers are choosing basketball over transgender rights.” But perhaps the clearest sign that the law is not exactly a step forward might be former Governor Pat McCrory’s endorsement of it.