Amid sports protest and proposed compromise, HB2 repeal is still contested
Updated: February 23, 2017 at 4:44 pm
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Amid an avalanche of headlines regarding HB2 and the movement to repeal it, qnotes is dedicated to simplifying the facts for its readers. For qnotes readers’ convenience, a brief list follows of the many developments in the controversy over HB2 in the previous weeks.
Sen. Jeff Jackson filed SB25 to fully repeal HB2. The bill was assigned to the Republican-controlled Rules Committee and has yet to come to a vote.
N.C. Sports Association and Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance representative Scott Dupree sent a letter to state legislators alleging “Our contacts at the NCAA tell us that, due to their stance on HB2, all North Carolina bids will be pulled from the review process and removed from consideration.” The move would eliminate North Carolina from potentially hosting six years of NCAA events. Dupree said the letter was not intended to be political, but was rather stating facts.
Democrats in the state Senate and House of Representatives introduced companion bills, HB82 and HB78, to fully repeal HB2 and replace it with statewide non-discrimination protections that include sexual orientation and gender identity. Other populations included in the proposed protections are military or veteran status, marital status and age. HB78 would increase penalties for sexual crimes committed in public bathrooms and locker rooms.
Four student athletes on the Atlantic Coast Conference’s student-athlete advisory committee wrote a letter urging lawmakers to repeal HB2, saying that this chance comes in “the fourth quarter, and the clock is winding down.”
North Carolina transgender athlete Connie Berchem wrote an op-ed for Citizen Times about her personal experience competing in sports under HB2. Of her recent victory at the Women’s Nationals in sailing, Berchem writes, “In our moment of victory, I wasn’t celebrating. I was afraid.” Berchem wrote to N.C. lawmakers about her experiences, and Rep. Mark Brody (R-District 55) replied, “[I] am saddened by the fact that North Carolina doesn’t provide the help you need to readjust from the mental disorder you suffer with. It appears that allowing you to use a bathroom, locker room or shower of your choice only reenforces the disorder not helps to correct it.”
Gov. Roy Cooper announced a new HB2 repeal deal that includes 30 days’ notice to the legislature on local non-discrimination protections and harsher penalties for sexual assault.
Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhoff responded, “Today’s proposal is yet another chance to fix this mess, but it adds unnecessary language addressing problems that simply do not exist. LGBTQ people are the ones at risk every day HB2 remains on the books, and transgender people especially continue to bear the brunt of this shameful politicking.”
Equality NC Executive Director and N.C. House Rep. Chris Sgro responded, “We all know that transgender people do not pose a public safety risk and should be protected from discrimination, not made the targets of it as HB2 does. Let us be very clear about what’s going on. Tim Moore and Phil Berger are acting against the best interest of our state and the LGBTQ community.”
N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger responded, “Gov. Cooper continues to dodge the question, but North Carolinians deserve to know his position on the key HB2 issue: does he believe men should be able to go into women’s bathrooms and shower facilities?”
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