RALEIGH, N.C. — The repeal of House Bill 2 (HB2), North Carolina’s notorious anti-LGBTQ “bathroom bill,” failed. After Charlotte City Council fully repealed its “triggering” non-discrimination ordinance, the state’s legislators tried to pull one over on LGBTQ advocates by proposing a repeal that included a six-month ban on non-discrimination protections. The move was so controversial that the session ended without so much as a vote on HB2 repeal.
The failure of the legislature to repeal HB2 has disappointed LGBTQ allies everywhere. “Night TV” show host Seth Meyers compared the GOP’s antics to “losing a bet and paying it off with Monopoly money.” Local activists had more to say.
“As a trans North Carolinian, I find this decision troubling and, sadly, not surprising. The cultural misunderstanding of our people, quite literally, places us in daily danger and, often, kills us,” said North Carolina AIDS Action Network volunteer Liam Hooper in a statement. “It is my hope that we can create a groundswell of education that fosters greater awareness and compassion to overturn this legislation for the greater good of all of us.”
But this disappointment is not the end of the fight against HB2. A lawsuit supported by the ACLU of NC and Lambda Legal, Carcaño v. McCrory, is still pending in federal court. The suit had been postponed while a similar case went to the Supreme Court from Virginia.
After the failed repeal, ACLU’s director of the LGBT & HIV Project had some choice words for the fickle legislators:
“The legislature may not be willing to undo their unconstitutional overreach and respect the rights of LGBT people, so we’ll just have to see them in court,” ACLU’s James Esseks said.
On top of already pending lawsuits, other organizations are determined to fight HB2. North Carolina’s chapter of the NAACP has vowed to fight the law, as well as the state’s other controversial legislations.
“We have always stood against extremism whether perpetrated historically by Democrats or Republicans,” said North Carolina NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. “Our lawyers are pursuing every legal option for challenging these unconstitutional laws.”
The North Carolina NAACP plans to call on the national branch of the organization to institute an economic boycott of North Carolina until the legislature makes several serious changes, including a full repeal of HB2. The North Carolina NAACP also seeks to ensure fair redistricting, court access, and a reversal of the special legislative power grab enacted by the North Carolina GOP in December.
Meanwhile, boycotts and protests against HB2 have continued. Most recently, the Business History Conference, slated for Charlotte, N.C. in 2018, has officially moved to Baltimore, Md., citing HB2 for its decision. The conference is expected to bring $120,000 in spending to its host city, adding further economic damage to the millions North Carolina has lost since HB2’s conception in March 2016.