N.C. House leadership drafts HB2 changes, no repeal in sight

N.C. House leadership has drafted changes to HB2 in response to pressure from the NBA, set to hold their 2017 All Star Game in Charlotte. The North Carolina General Assembly claimed Charlotte’s LGBT non-discrimination ordinance forced them to pass HB2, which not only overrides all non-discrimination in the state but also prevents transgender individuals from using the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity, took away the ability to sue over workplace discrimination in state courts and capped the minimum wage.

Among the most significant changes, as first reported by WBTV, is the creation of a document to recognize a person’s gender reassignment. The legislation reads:

An individual who (i) was born in another state or territory of the United States that does not provide a mechanism for amending a current certificate of birth or issuing a new certificate of birth to change the sex of an individual following sex reassignment surgery and (ii) resides in this State at the time of the written application may request a certificate of sex reassignment from the State Registrar. The State Registrar shall issue a certificate of sex reassignment upon a written application from an individual accompanied by a notarized statement from the physician who performed the sex reassignment surgery or from a physician licensed to practice medicine who has examined the individual and can certify that the person has undergone sex reassignment surgery.

The draft is also said to contain references to federal statues that provide protections against discrimination. It does not appear to fix the issue with the inability to sue in state court, which Gov. McCrory, who signed HB2 into law, has asked the NC GA to amend.

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It would also increase penalties for for suspects convicted of committing certain offenses in a multi-person bathroom or changing facility.

Equality North Carolina Executive Director and North Carolina State Representative Chris Sgro was quick to tweet out his displeasure.

Equality NC also sent out an email to supporters asking them to contact their elected officials to call for a full repeal of HB2.

“We are in the the last days of the legislative session, and have not heard a word from Republican leadership about repealing HB2 for months,” the email, signed by Sgro, reads. “Just a few minutes ago we got word that a backroom deal is being cooked up by Republican leaders in the House and Senate that still discriminates against transgender North Carolinians and does nothing to restore the common sense protections passed by the Charlotte City Council earlier this year.”

“The NC General Assembly will end this year’s Short Session any day now, and yet they continue to ignore the thousands of North Carolinians who have rallied, called, emailed, or signed petitions or postcards, the hundreds of business leaders who have spoken out, the numerous celebrities and performers who have canceled shows, and the sporting events that have issued statements, all with a singular demand — full repeal of HB2,” it continues.

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“We’ve rallied in front of the North Carolina General Assembly. We’ve made the phones ring off the hook in the Legislative Office Building. We’ve held press conferences and lobby days increasing the public pressure. We’ve collected thousands of postcards and petition signatures and delivered them to legislative leaders — and yet Republican leadership wants to cut a deal and not repeal.”

Sgro held a press conference where he accused House leadership of “playing politics with people’s lives.”

“To you, Speaker Moore and Senator Berger, we must have a repeal vote before we leave. Stop digging the hole deeper, get our state out of the hole,” Sgro said.

“This is nothing more than HB 2.0. Anyone who cares about equality must reject this ridiculous proposal,” tweeted Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.

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Posted by Jeff Taylor / Social Media Editor

Jeff Taylor is a journalist and artist. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inside Lacrosse, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006.@jefftaylorhuman.

One Reply to “N.C. House leadership drafts HB2 changes, no repeal in sight”

  1. If the NBA is ok with these cosmetic changes to this horrendous law, I think it’s the duty of NC’s LGBT community to come out in force to protest the All-Star game in February 2017 if it’s held in Charlotte and HB2 is still in place.

    If you agree, contact the NBA and tell them you’re willing to protest the game if they approve of these changes:

    http://contact.nba.com/contact-nba/

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