Subscribe

North Carolina Senate rejects repeal of transgender bathroom law

Democratic Governor-elect Roy Cooper said he reached a deal with state Republicans to repeal the law, but the GOP-controlled state Senate voted 32-16 to keep the law, known as House Bill 2, in place.

  • close
    Democratic senators including Jay J. Chaudhuri, a Raleigh Democrat, center, vote not to table an amendment to Senate Bill 4 during the North Carolina General Assembly's fifth special session Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, in the Senate chambers in Raleigh, N.C.
    Travis Long/The News & Observer via AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

North Carolina's Senate on Wednesday voted against repeal of a law that restricts transgender restroom access and has put the state at the center of national debate over lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.

The legislation to repeal the law, known as House Bill 2 (HB2), was defeated by a vote of 32-16, leaving the bathroom restrictions in place statewide.

The Republican-dominated state Senate then adjourned without voting on a second, related provision that would have temporarily banned cities from affirming transgender bathroom rights. The state's House of Representatives, also controlled by Republicans, voted earlier in the day to adjourn.

Legislators had called a special session to consider scrapping the law, which passed in March and made North Carolina the first state to bar transgender people from using public restrooms that match their gender identity. Supporters of the law cited traditional values and a need for public safety while opponents called it mean-spirited and unnecessary.

The national backlash was swift and fierce, leading to boycotts that have been blamed for millions of dollars in economic losses for the state, as events, such as the National Basketball Association's 2017 All-Star Game, were moved out of North Carolina.

The pushback was widely cited as the reason Republican Governor Pat McCrory lost his re-election bid in November to Democrat Roy Cooper, who called for the repeal of the law.

Cooper had said he reached a deal with state Republicans to repeal the law. But Republicans eventually proposed pairing the repeal with a months-long "cooling-off period," or moratorium, in which local jurisdictions would be banned from enacting their own ordinances regulating public bathrooms, showers or changing facilities.

The moratorium died without the Senate taking any action.

HB 2 was enacted largely in response to a local measure in Charlotte that protected the rights of transgender people to use public bathrooms of their choice.

The Charlotte City Council on Monday repealed its ordinance as a prelude to the state repealing HB 2. (Writing by Letitia Stein and Daniel Trotta, additional reporting by David Ingram; editing by Bill Trott, Tom Brown and G Crosse)

 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK