ACC to reconsider N.C. as championship host

Carla Harmon
April 3, 2017

House Bill 2 is a law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The compromise measure, approved earlier in the day by the state General Assembly, repeals the law but keeps some aspects of HB2 in place in a different form, disappointing LGBT rights groups who led much of the opposition to the bill and wanted a complete repeal.

In a joint statement, Majority Republican leaders Tim Moore and Phil Berger said: "Compromise requires give and take from all sides, and we are pleased this proposal fully protects bathroom safety and privacy". The proposal also says local governments can not "enact or amend" nondiscrimination ordinances that regulate private employment practices or public accommodations.

"This is not a ideal deal, and it is not my preferred solution", he said during a news conference. "The process for us going forward will be as follows: We have worked very hard to accommodate North Carolina's decision-making process".

North Carolina lawmakers passed a bill yesterday to repeal the law, which, among other things, required people in public spaces (including children) to use the bathroom consistent with the sex on their birth certificate and nullified local legal protections for the LBGT community. That's what Charlotte did a year ago when it affirmed that, among other things, transgender people could use bathrooms that aligned with their gender identities-a move which prompted state lawmakers to pass HB2 shortly thereafter.

Legislators introduced the repeal bill - House Bill 142 - Thursday morning. Those games were moved to Greenville, South Carolina, which was allowed to host again after removing a Confederate flag from state capitol grounds in 2015.

The repeal allows provisions of HB2 to remain in effect through 2020, which means cities are still prohibited from passing non-discrimination ordinances on private employment or public accommodations for at least another three years.

The most high-profile events that moved out of North Carolina due to HB2 were the ACC Championship game for football and the NCAA Tournament first and second rounds in men's basketball.

It's mystifying that Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat whose narrow election in November was seen as something of a referendum on H.B. "Companies that I have talked to, companies that I have recruited, who were hesitant or refusing to bring businesses to our state before the passage of today's bill now are telling me: We are coming". "The whole situation has sort of soured the broader national desire to locate in North Carolina".

Cathryn Oakley, the senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign said lawmakers supporting HB142 were "no ally of LGBTQ people".

The NCAA made a bold and commendable decision last March when it chose to pull championship events from the state of North Carolina because of a discriminatory law against transgender people.

As a member of the N.C. Democratic Party's state executive committee and vice chair of Precinct 29, Covington said "we Democrats pride ourselves on the fact that we're accepting and don't discriminate against anybody".

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