Bipartisan Quartet Files Bill to Repeal N.C.’s ‘Bathroom Law’

(CN) – Four lawmakers in North Carolina, representing both Democrats and the GOP, have filed a measure aimed at repealing much, if not all of North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2, the 2016 law that deals with LGBT rights and bathroom use.

Two other bills, filed only by Democrats and calling for a complete repeal of the law, died upon delivery in the legislature earlier this year.

What makes the new, House Bill 186 different is that House Republican leaders are reportedly playing an active role in moving the bipartisan bill forward, and that it is sponsored by important members of the North Carolina House.

Ironically, Wednesday’s move came on the same day that the Trump administration ended federal protection for transgender students that required schools to allow them to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities, stepping into an emotional national issue.

The administration came down on the side of states’ rights, lifting federal guidelines that had been issued by the Obama administration. Without the Obama directive, it will be up to states and school districts to interpret federal anti-discrimination law and determine whether students should have access to restrooms in accordance with their expressed gender identity and not just their biological sex.

In North Carolina, however, the Republican lawmakers who sponsored HB2 now appear to believe their anti-LGBT law desperately needs an overhaul.

The problem now is nobody knows what the eventual fix will look like or how to get it through the full legislature.

The sponsors of the bipartisan bill are Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson;  Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover, who was a lead sponsor of the original HB2; Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, a conservative Democrat who voted for the original House Bill 2; and Rep. Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland.

There currently is no sponsor in the state Senate.

In a statement late Wednesday, Gov. Roy Cooper, said the latest repeal effort may not go far enough.

“We must repeal House Bill 2, and I remain committed to getting that done. But I am concerned that this legislation as written fails the basic test of restoring our reputation, removing discrimination and bringing jobs and sports back to North Carolina. I will keep working with the legislature,” Cooper said.